Western Platform, established within IAU, had its first meeting on May 16, 2016. The road map of the platform was discussed during the meeting.
Moderated by professor Kenan Gursoy, the founding members of the platform IAU president Dr. Mustafa Aydin, IAU lecturer and associate professor Ali Kemal Dogan, Istanbul Bosphorus Municipalities Union president Ahmet Misbah Demircan, IAU lecturer and professor Belkis Gursoy, Head Advisor to Prime Minister professor Bekir Karlıaga, Former State Minister Egemen Bagis, IAU lecturer and professor Halis Ayhan, Istanbul Ticaret University lecturer and professor Korkut Tuna, IAU lecturer and professor Kazım Yetis, IAU department of Sociology chair professor Mahmut Arslan, IAU Unesco Chair professor Nazim Irem, IAU lecturer and professor Necat Birinci, Researcher and Author Senail Ozkan, Istanbul University lecturer and professor Teoman Durali, IAU lecturer and associate professor Gokhan Duman, IAU lecturer and associate professor Gulay Ugur Goksel attended the meeting.
Delivering the opening speech, IAU president Dr. Mustafa Aydin talked about the process of establishing the platform and its objective and said, " I had few dreams when I first founded the university and they are becoming true slowly. We are the largest foundation university. As an educator, I believe that it is inevitable for universities to serve its soil, nation and flag. Universities should integrate with its people instead of being a prison surrounded with four walls and should be able to meet the needs of the local people and then the people in its country and the world. We founded our university with the same objectives in mind. We have nearly thirty research centers that are conducting serious work. The most important one for me among those is Social Research Center and the second one is Aydin Thinking Platform where we meet once a week and discuss current situations in our country and around the world. Todays' meeting is taking place to understand the West and Western culture. We are doing our best to contribute to our nation. Our objective is to shed light to next generations."
Speaking at the meeting, Egemen Bagis, former Minister for EU, emphasized that Turkey needs to give the same importance to the West and the East and added, " I have been the chief negotiator for EU Affairs for 5 years. I have asked myself this along the way: Are we really Western or European? I have come to conclusion that we are neither western nor eastern (oriental), neither southern nor northern. We are on a cross road. We have been a bridge between demand and supply from Silk Road to tobacco and energy resources. In certain times of the history, our eastern side came to the forefront and sometimes our western side did. We are still going through the same reciprocate. If we are a bridge in this geography, we must have four strong legs. So our Northern- Southern- Western- Eastern legs must be very strong. A Turkish citizen was appointed as Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation during when Turkey was able to obtain a date for negotiations with the EU after almost fifty years. When you are strong in the West, you are strong in the East. We have come from the Central Asia but always headed West. Vienna, which we surroundered for three times, became 'Red Apple' for us. We have always wanted to go West."
" We have been trying to be part of EU which is the center of Europe. While we do that we don't have the luxury to ignore the East. Energy resources and wealth are situated in India, China and Africa. Turkey cannot ignore this wealth."
Speaking about his excitement of the establishment of Occidental Studies Applied Research Center, Chief Advisor to the Prime Minister Dr. Bekir Karliaga, Ph.D., said, " First of all, I would like to congratulate Istanbul Aydin University for their effort to go towards this field. I believe this is a very important issue. I think we shouldn't waste our time on questions such as whether we are from the East or the West. Five million of Turks live in Europe. Europe had an empire within our country for 150 years. We lived with Armenians and Greeks together. We must think about this instead: How much do we know the West? Throughout our 300 years of journey to become Westerner, we have never fully know the West."
The meeting ended after all the speakers delivered their speeches on ' What does the West tell us?