ON THE SUMMITS: PERSPECTIVES FROM GLOBAL LEADERS
TURKEY’S ECONOMIC AND FOREIGN POLICY PRIORITIES: AN ADDRESS FROM THE PRESIDENT
His Excellency Abdullah Gül, President, Republic of Turkey
At the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Turkey has emerged as a significant regional power, boasting one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. With its robust GDP growth and an economy that has more than doubled since 2002, Turkey is a center of geostrategic importance and remains a critical and increasingly important ally to the United States. Having served as a member of NATO for sixty years, Turkey continues to play an integral role in Afghanistan and other alliance initiatives including ballistic missile defense. Furthermore, it exercises considerable influence in the Middle East and North Africa, a region that has undergone extensive change over the past two years. In this ever shifting global climate, what are Turkey’s foreign policy priorities? What is needed for Turkey to sustain its position both as a regional leader and significant partner in the global economy?
His Excellency Abdullah Gül was elected by the Parliament as the eleventh President of the Republic of Turkey on August 28, 2007. Previously he has served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2003 to 2007 and as Prime Minister from 2002 to 2003. He served as a member of the Turkish Parliament for five consecutive terms between 1991 and 2007. He was also member of the Turkish delegation in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe from 1991 to 2001. Prior to his career in government service, he served as an associate professor in international economics at Istanbul University and worked as an economist at the headquarters of the Islamic Development Bank. Abdullah Gül was a founding member of the Department of Industrial Engineering at Sakarya University where he taught economics for five years. He received his doctoral degree from Istanbul University.