British - Turkish Tatlidil forum in Edinburgh
In his capacity as Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Turkey, Fabian is to attend the forthcoming meeting of the British Turkish Tatlidil to be held in Edinburgh this weekend (2 - 3 November 2013). This is an annual meeting that was inaugurated between the governments of Britain and Turkey by their respective prime ministers in 2011. This year's meeting will be chaired by Jack Straw MP. The Tatlidil is intended to take place annually in alternating countries and was established to develop bilateral relations between Turkey and the UK in the political, economic, cultural and social fields.
Fabian has long involved himself with relationships with and political developments in Turkey. He considers it a country of major strategic importance for the United Kingdom. Its population of 80 Million exceeds that of the UK and its economy is growing rapidly. It also bridges the geographical and cultural divide between West and East. Although the majority of the people living in Turkey are Muslim, the country is not an Islamic state and is run on a proudly secular basis with widespread acceptance of all religions. The country is particularly in the spotlight at the present time as it has a border with Syria, the country currently torn apart by civil war between the dictatorship government of Bashaar Al-Assad and a large number of rebel groups, some of which have close links with terrorist organisations. Turkey has become the refuge for some 600,000 people who have fled the war in Syria many of whom now live in refugee camps set up in Turkey near to the border.
There are a number of issues that can feature on the agendas of conversations between Britain and Turkey.
- The war in Syria and measures to promote peace
- Control of the traffic of narcotics such as heroin from the poppy fields in Afghanistan
- The application that Turkey is making to join the European Union
- Action to control the number of refugees seeking to leave Middle Eastern Countries for the West
- Growing trade links
- Promotion of tourism
By coincidence, Fabian is to fly directly from this meeting to Istanbul for a meeting in Ankara (the state capital of Turkey). During his one-night stay he will also meet the Turkish Deputy Finance Minister.
To learn more:
UK Government announcement on the setting up of the Tatilidl - Click here
Turkish government announcement - Click here