ASAM: Eurasian Center for Strategic Studies

This is the age of think-tanks. They are “universities without

Date: Issue 9 - January 2008

Turkey was relatively late in recognizing and joining this global phenomenon. However, recently there is a serious effort in making up for lost time. It is common nowadays to hear about the foundation of a new think-tank.

ASAM (Eurasian Center for Strategic Studies – Avrasya Stratejik Araştırmalar Merkezi),
an independent, public policy research organization, is among the first Turkish foreign policy think-tanks and probably one of the leading ones in terms quality, reputation, impact and size.

ASAM’s main speciality is area studies in foreign and security policy. Its mission is to inform and influence public debate and policy by providing research on relevant facts, analyses, scenarios, interest-threat-opportunity assessments and policy proposals that will further Turkey’s interests. In developing policy prescriptions, ASAM experts pay attention to factors like cost-benefit ratios, risk analyses, opportunity costs, feasibility and hierarchy of priorities.

ASAM is based in Ankara and its current Chairman is Ambassador Faruk Loğoğlu (Ret).
ASAM staff members have diverse backgrounds in civil and military government service, academy, NGOs and business. This diversity allows a richness of perspective and a multi-disciplinary collaboration.

The Center has two main publications. Stratejik Analiz, a monthly journal, publishes current affairs research done by ASAM experts and occasional contributions from the outside. Avrasya Dosyası (biannual), is a more academic publication with longer articles on long-term issues. It generally devotes each issue to a specific subject. The recent issue, for instance, was on “the Shiite Crescent”.

Apart from its own research, ASAM also provides a platform for discussion of Turkish foreign and security policy issues with experts both from and outside the government. ASAM brain-storming sessions are attended by academicians, current and former civil servants, politicians, journalists, businessmen as well as students and other members of the informed public.

ASAM has a very close working relationship with most of the foreign embassies in Ankara whose members regularly attend ASAM’s public conferences. Many foreign leaders and officials choose ASAM to make speeches or receive briefings when they visit Ankara.

ASAM collaborates with government institutions. It conducts these relationships in a transparent fashion and are fully independent in its operations and views. .

ASAM also hosts two sister institutions one of which specializes in Armenian issues (Armenian Studies Institute - ERAREN – Ermeni Araştırmaları Enstitüsü), and the other in crimes against humanity (Institute for Crimes against Humanity – İKSAREN – İnsanlığa Karşı Suçlar Araştırma Enstitüsü). . ASAM web page (www.asam.org.tr) is updated everyday with new articles, daily analyses and specialized bulletins.

IDEF 2009 will be held in İstanbul

IDEF international defence industry which is Turkish defence industry’s gateway to the world has been held by Turkish armed forces foundation (TAFF) under the auspices of the Ministry of Defence since 1993. The remark made by TAFF on 24 January 2008 is below:
“Eight IDEF fairs have been held successfully in odd years since 1993: IDEF fairs which used to be held in THK Etimesgut Türkkuşu facilities until 2003 have been held in 75th year Ankara hippodrome since 2005 due to the fact that the said facility became insufficient and the fair expanded more and more.
161 local and 333 foreign companies, which is in total 494, participated 8th IDEF-2007 international defence industry fair which was held between 22 and 25 may 2007
About IDEF-2009 fair; countries and large scale companies demanded additional space up to twice as big as the space they had occupied in IDEF-2007 fair. But it was informed by Turkey Jockey Club (TJK) that there was going to be a one-third reduction in space due to the planned projects in 75th year Ankara hippodrome (expanding the race circuit and establishing new social facilities and open space areas for spectators). Also, they emphasized that they could not call off the planned races during the dates when the fair would take place and they could only dedicate the hippodrome in winter when there is no race and this is not an appropriate date for the fair. Even the hippodrome is dedicated to the fair without there are no restrictions mentioned above, it seemed impossible to hold the fair in 75th year Ankara hippodrome because of the planned projects.Upon this, efforts to find a new location for the fair in Ankara was initiated, but it was discovered that present locations would not able to meet the increasing needs of IDEF fairs.Finally, it was agreed upon to hold 9th IDEF -2009 international defence industry fair in Istanbul between 27 and 30 April 2009 under a contract signed with Tuyap. which obtained the related bid for the fair.
It is noted that the decision on holding the fair in Istanbul will contribute IDEF fair to keep its prestige in the world and to become the biggest international defence industry in the region by taking advantages of wide facilities of Istanbul which is preparing to be the cultural center of Europe in 2010.