The overarching theme and assumption of the project is that the EU is changing, Turkey too, and above all there is systemic change and crisis all round, ranging from economics, the spread of democratic norms and foreign policy. In view of this, since 2012 IAI, the Istanbul Policy Centre and the Mercator Foundation have been conducting a project on EU-Turkey relations. This project aims at exploring how the EU and Turkey can enhance their cooperation (within, not necessarily beyond the accession process), in the political, economic, security and foreign policy domains.
In its third stage (2014/15), the project prioritized the following issues: democracy, trade & commerce and the Kurdish question. In particular, these themes were explored through a series of working papers, policy briefs and commentaries. In this cycle, a greater focus was placed on outreach and dissemination, with selected publications being published in the national and international print media and publicized through the use of social media tools. A new 'GTE question of the month' feature was included on IAI website where each month a select number of experts commented on a given question with answers of about 200 words.
Over the years Global Turkey in Europe (GTE) has built a core exchange and dialogue group as well as solid baseline of publication on all pillars in EU-Turkey relations. Building on this strong basis, GTE IV strives to move beyond the expert focus and to become more political, with the aim of triggering transformation in the public debates on Turkey and the EU. In 2016 GTE IV focuses on the issue of migration in EU-Turkey relations and provide groundwork to stake out the key dimensions within which the refugee and migration issue could be discussed from an EU-Turkey perspective. The topic is being explored through the organization of five closed-door meetings among different stake-holders in Istanbul, Athens, Rome, Budapest and Berlin. Scientific coordination is assured by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) in cooperation with Istanbul Policy Center – Sabanci University (IPC)