On Monday, June 2 the Brookings Institution collaborated with TUSIAD (Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association) to host a conference on “America’s Presidential Elections and Implications for U.S.-Turkish Relations” at the Ceylan Intercontinental Hotel in Istanbul. During the panel discussions, a team of respected American and Turkish analysts considered factors that will determine next November’s elections for a new President of the United States, and how the various outcomes may affect the substance and dynamics of relations between the U.S. and Turkey beginning next January.
The conference began with introductory remarks by TUSIAD Board member Haluk Dincer and Brookings President Strobe Talbott. Former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey and current Brookings Visiting Fellow Mark Parris followed with a presentation on the stakes for US- Turkish Relations in America’s elections. Thomas Mann, Brookings Senior Fellow in Governance Studies, then made a presentation entitled “Handicapping the 2008 U.S. Presidential Race.” Following this overview of the elections system and the candidates, Richard Burt, Managing Director at McClarty Associates and Former Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, and Philip Gordon, Brookings Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy and Former Director for Europe at the National Security Council, discussed the implications for Turkey of a Democratic or Republican victory in November. Professor Soli Ozel of Bilgi University presented the Turkish perspective on the American elections and responded to several points that were made by the American analysts.