On May 7, 2020, H.E. Haldun Koç, the Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Bosnia and Herzegovina, held a seminar “New public diplomacy-foreign policy with humanitarian aspect: Turkey's soft power role in the Balkans/Special case Bosnia and Herzegovina” as a part of the Balkan Youth School (BYS).
At the very beginning, the ambassador Koç explained the main postulates of Turkish foreign policy guided by the dictum: “Peace at Home, Peace in the World.” Hence, Turkey is an actor aiming to enhance its ties and cooperation with all partners for peace, security, stability and prosperity. Turkey has a cooperation-oriented understanding based on mutual respect and a win-win approach. Ambassador Koç emphasized the priorities of Turkish foreign policy that, among others, incorporate: strengthening regional security and stability, fight against terrorism, protecting the rights of Turkish citizens, deepening strategic ties, enhancing trade networks and energy security, strengthening ties with all geographies, cooperation with regional and international organizations, and improving soft power.
Ambassador Koç also highlighted that humanitarian diplomacy is an indispensable aspect of Turkish foreign policy. Turkey has been a leading actor in humanitarian diplomacy with its focus on the human cause and through its official development and humanitarian aid, he added. In addition, students had the opportunity to get acquainted with Turkish relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina from the perspective of a high official of the Republic of Turkey. When it comes to relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina, ambassador Koç emphasized that Turkey has strong political and economic relations and supports Bosnia and Herzegovina in all relevant international platforms. Taking into consideration the fact that Turkey is the third biggest supplier of medical aid worldwide it is not a surprise that Turkey was among the first countries that contributed to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s fight against the COVID-19.
The Balkan Youth School is an educational platform in the humanities, social and religious sciences. The study program is organized through modules, providing basic knowledge of history, human rights, international relations, political theories and issues, socio-political and religious issues, Ottoman history, arts and architecture, genocide studies, leadership and political thought.
The project is being implemented by the Balkan Studies Center of the International University of Sarajevo (IUS) and supported by The Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB).