ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
The forums of the 15th Eurasian Economy Summit kicked off yesterday, with an opening session at Istanbul’s Lütfü Kırdan Convention and Exhibition Center. Prominent guests at the session included presidents, prime ministers, religious leaders, statesmen, representatives of non-governmental organizations and businesspeople from dozens of countries.
Eurasia is drawing the attention of the entire world with its geography, young and dynamic population, and rising prosperity, while the Arab Spring’s democratization process continues nearby, said Turkey’s EU Minister Egemen Bağış, in his opening speech on behalf of the Turkish government. “You can call Eurasia the heart or the chessboard of the world. Whatever you call it, Eurasia has always maintained its place as the center of world power struggles. A geographer once said that he who rules Eurasia rules the world. Now we can see that more than cooperation, conflict is on the desk of Eurasia. I think it is good to say here, from the center of Eurasia, Istanbul, no one can rule this region. Whoever tries to rule this geography alone can only cause a heart attack for the region.”
Cemil Çiçek, the speaker of Turkey’s Parliament, said the region should focus on peace.
“Interdependence forces us to search for ways to achieve development in the region. For happiness and prosperity, we have to work together for this aim. Meetings such as the Eurasia Economic Summit pave the way toward mutual understanding.” Çicek also said the main goal should be the regeneration of the Silk Road by raising visa restrictions.
Akkan Suver, president of the Marmara Group Foundation, said the summit is a base for evaluating alternative models for equally distributing prosperity and creating a fairer world. Suver also said reading economic statistics from a “per capita perspective” is not adequate to see the real situation in the world. “We are here to discuss these topics in an intellectual way,” Suver said.
Governor Mihail Formuzal of the autonomous territorial unit of Gagauzia called on businessmen for investments. Businessmen who invest in Gagauzia “will not be asked to pay any taxes for five years.”
Filip Vujanovic, president of Montenegro, also said the summit has remarkable importance, especially coming as it does before the upcoming U.Nb summit in Rio. President of Macedonia Gjorge Ivanov said Southeastern Europe
has experienced many problems in the past 20 years, but now it is time for cooperation.