News archive - Turkey's Current S&T Initiatives in the Western Balkans

Turkey is very close historically, geographically, and culturally to the Western Balkan region and has bilateral Science and Technology Cooperation Agreements with Albania, Croatia, FYR of Macedonia (Turkey recognises the country with its constitutional name Republic of Macedonia), Serbia and Montenegro. Not only the Western Balkans but also other Southern European countries such as Hungary, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Greece are among Turkey's cooperation countries with effective bilateral running programmes.

At the International Conference and High Level Round Table entitled 'Why Invest in Science in South Eastern Europe?', the acting president of TÜBİTAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey), Nuket Yetis, gave a presentation on the issues of 'TurkeyÂ’s National Science, Technology and Innovation Initiative and the Necessity of Investing in Science'. The outcome of this presentation and the feedback from a number of Western Balkan country participants were very promising.

The Istanbul Agenda

Consequently, another important event entitled 'Integration of EU Enlargement Countries into European Research Area: Participation in EU Seventh Framework Programme' was held in Istanbul on December 7-8, 2006. At this event the 'Istanbul Agenda' was developed and adopted, with the participation of all the Western Balkans, Candidate and Potential Candidate Countries of the EU. A representative of SEE-ERA.NET also attended this event. The 'Istanbul Agenda' is a rolling plan of action to enhance the participation and performance of the enlargement countries under FP7 and their further integration in the European Research Area (ERA). The participating countries fully support this Agenda and count on the full cooperation and support of the European Commission. The plan will be subject to monitoring and review at the end of the first year of its implementation.

Participation of Turkey in regional projects

As far as the regional EU project SEE-ERA.NET is concerned, Turkey has not been in the Steering Board so far, but its participation in this network is now under consideration.
Turkey also contributes to the FP7 INCO-NET-WBC project proposal preparation and has expressed its willingness to play an active part.
Turkey fully participated in the EU's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) and has just organised a FP7 Launch Conference (February 12-13, 2007 in Ankara) in order to speed up the RTD integration with the European Research Area as an Associated Candidate Country. Several S&T organisations from South East Europe participated in this conference.
Beside the above-mentioned S&T relations with the Western Balkans, TÜBITAK also has supported programmes for visiting scientists from all foreign countries (including the Western Balkans) - see the link to TÜBITAK's website at

Article published in eJournal winter 06/07.
Authors: Fatih Sahin and Dicle Dogancioglu from TÜBITAK.

Entry created by Fatih Sahin on March 5, 2007
Modified on March 6, 2007