20th Eurasian Economic Summit kick-starts in Istanbul

20th Eurasian Economic Summit kick-starts in Istanbul

20th Eurasian Economic Summit kick-starts in Istanbul The 20th Eurasian Economic Summit started in Istanbul on April 5 with the main theme “Humanity at Crossroads.” 

The conference, which will last on April 6, is gathering 200 statesmen, academics, and businessmen with representatives from 44 countries and religious functionaries. 

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 20th Eurasian Economic Summit, Akkan Suver, the president of the Marmara Group Foundation, said the world was currently facing “unbelievable incidents,” adding that while technology was developing at high-speed, the same could not be said about civilization. Suver said that if people did not connect personally to each other, as opposed to connection on social media, which is quite popular nowadays, then the world would enter into deep polarization, which is already visible in many parts of the world, and that it would not lead to the development of the world. 

Criticizing NATO, Suver said it had not done enough about the security issues that Turkey is experiencing along its border. He also criticized the European Union on having taken Greek Cyprus as its member in 2004 without solving the conflict on the eastern Mediterranean island, thus not allowing the Turkish Cypriots to be a part of the EU. 

He said while these topics will be addressed throughout the conference over two days, another topic that would be stressed on would be on how wrong it was to mention Islam and terrorism together. 

Commenting on the same issue, Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Secretary-General Asaf Hajiyev said terrorism had no borders and did not know any religion. “The world should strongly battle against terrorism,” Hajiyev said at the opening session of the conference. 

Istanbul Chamber of Commerce President İbrahim Çağlar said the world was in a junction wherein it needed to choose between chaos and hope. 

He said that the world needed to give hand-in-hand and build a new economic life, which would not only help improve the economy but also the welfare and happiness of people. 

Speaking on behalf of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Erman Bülent Tuncer said the Silk Road was “our lifeblood and the security of this road is more important than anything else.” Thus, terrorism must be thoroughly prevented, he said, adding that “we have suffered a lot from terrorism.”  

Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser, the U.N. high representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, said that hate speech, stereotyping and stigmatization were becoming norms today, but it was very inspiring to see that many people were raising their voices against the unjust, especially the migrant crisis the world is facing due to the increase of conflicts around the world, specifically the Syrian war. Al-Nasser gave Turkey as an exemplary country helping refugees.