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Search for Collaboration under the Shadow of Terror

Search for Collaboration under the Shadow of Terror 1 June, 2017

Organised this year between May 21-23, American Turkish Council’s 36th Annual Conference on US-Turkey Relations took place at Trump Hotel in Washington D.C. under the shadow of nuisance felt in Turkey caused by US support to PYD. Against the backdrop of President Trump’s announcement pertaining to the infrastructure plan worth $1 trillion, Turkish construction sector heavily participated in the event, which was visibly influenced by the written and verbal protest delivered to the United States following the recent bodyguard brawl. The dust has not settled yet in Turkish-American relations.

Conveying messages of collaboration just like in previous years, the theme of the conference was “Together Towards Tomorrow: Empowering Business Through Partnerships.” This year’s panels centred on defence, construction/infrastructure, trade, cybersecurity, finance/investment, retail/manufacturing, energy, agribusiness, R&D/innovation and shipbuilding. However, as compared to previous years, perhaps on account of the current tension, no government authorities showed presence at the conference. Most noteworthy were warnings and wishes articulated by speakers and panelists as to the need for distinguishing between politics and the business world. 
The main topic at the defence panel included changes in cadre and policies, as well as foresight on what might happen next in the framework of these changes. Only time can tell whether the new US defence policy and priorities under the Trump Administration will coincide with Turkish interests, at a time when Turkish defence industry has set eyes on exports. Besides the gains scored by grand projects in aviation and aerospace like the TF-X, making the most of export opportunities with respect to third party countries demonstrates clearly Turkey’s decisiveness to realise those export targets specified in the 2017-2021 Strategic Plan.

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