Turkish citizen appointed to manage Jerusalem Arbitration Center
Hacer Boyacıoğlu - ANKARA
AA photoTurkish citizen Osman Zeki Yalçın has been appointed as director-general of the Jerusalem Arbitration Center (JAC), joining JAC co-chair Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, who is also the head of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB).
“The appointment has been made upon both sides’ willingness. The idea of appointing a Turkish citizen as director general was embraced. This arbitration center will become the sole place where Israel and Palestine gather officially,” Hisarcıklıoğlu said.
“Commerce is necessary for peace and peace is necessary for commerce. This office will be a center for the resolution of commercial disputes and will make a contribution to the region,” he added.
Yalçın most recently worked as an advisor at Ankara-based think-tank the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV), after working in both the public and private sectors. Yalçın last week travelled to Israel in order to take over the management of JAC, and he will live in Tel Aviv with his family.
Back in March 2013, JAC stakeholders jointly proposed the selection of Hisarcıklıoğlu, who is also a board member of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), to co-chair the JAC with ICC Israeli and Palestinian representatives.
The JAC has been operating since early 2013. Owned by ICC Palestine and ICC Israel based on a joint venture agreement, it is aimed at providing a credible legal framework to serve Palestinian and Israeli businesses in their commercial disputes. The ICC and the International Court of Arbitration provides training for and advice in support for the development and operations of the JAC.
At the time, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was acting as a special envoy for the Quartet on the Middle East, lent support to Hisarcıklıoğlu’s election.
“The fact that a high-level official has been elected from Turkey shows the importance and relevancy of the country to the issue. In addition to Hisarcıklıoğlu being a very respectable person, Turkey plays an important role. I don’t think it would be possible to find a better candidate from any other country. The council will be objective in cases involving Israel and Palestine. The establishment of this institute with Turkey presiding over it will ensure that disputes will be resolved quickly and for low costs. This center is important for both countries,” Blair said in 2013.