Research regarding the relationships between Romania and Turkey between 1878 and 2018

Prof.dr. Tasin Gemil, director al Institutului de Turcologie, Universitatea Babeș – Bolyai, Cluj-Napoca:Professor Tasin Gemil, PhD, Director of the Turkology Institute at the „Babeș – Bolyai” University, Cluj-Napoca:

„Today, Romania and Turkey have a strategic partnership and are joint allies in the largest and most powerful military-political alliance in the history of mankind – NATO”

„In the aftermath of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878 and Romania’s independence from the Ottoman Empire, the two states were each committed to setting the groundwork for a new type of relationship between equal partners, taking onboard the positives of centuries of close contact between the two cultures. In this spirit of amicable coming together was the letter – dated 3/15 February 1878 – written by the Romanian Foreign Minister Mihail Kogălniceanu and addressed to his Ottoman counterpart, Safvet Pasha. Consequently, the Sublime Porte officially recognized the independence of Romania before countries such as Italy, the United Kingdom, France or Germany.

In September of 1878, Romania and the Ottomans established official diplomatic relations and proceeded to exchange diplomatic representatives. Romania sent Dimitrie Brătianu to Istanbul as “extraordinary and plenipotentiary minister”, while the Porte named Süleyman Bey as envoy of the same rank to Bucharest. Ottoman consulates were set up in Iaşi, Călăraşi, Tulcea, Constanța, Giurgiu, Turnu-Severin, Brăila, Galați and elsewhere, while Romanian consulates in the Ottoman Empire were established in Thessaloniki, Adana, Izmir, Monastir and Ioannina, among other places.

140 years ago, a fundamentally different rapport was begun between Romania and Turkey, with a mutually advantageous cooperation on multiple levels at its core. With the exception of a few relatively short divergent periods, the bilateral relationships between the two countries have always led to closer cooperation between them. Today, Romania and Turkey have a strategic partnership and are joint allies in the largest and most powerful military-political alliance in the history of mankind – NATO.”


Prof.dr. Emil Constantinescu, președintele Consiliului Științific al Institutului de Studii Avansate pentru Cultura și Civilizația Levantului:Professor Emil Constantinescu, PhD, President of the Scientific Council of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Levant Culture and Civilization:

„The Parliament of Turkey proposed that the ratification of the first Eastern-European countries’ admission into NATO only take place on the condition of Romania’s prior accession to the alliance.”

„As host, I must confess that this is the first scientific gathering that the Institute for Advanced Studies in Levant Culture and Civilization has organized at its headquarters, and I hope there will be many more opportunities for us to meet going forward. My intervention will not be in the guise of a scientific essay, nor will it have the official tones that opening remarks usually have. I would simply like to share some of my thoughts with you, and some of the personal experiences I have had in my relationships with Turkey.

My first meeting with President Demirel was, as often happens in the Balkans, something more than simply a meeting between two heads of state. We became friends, and I am glad to be able to say that we remained as such until the end. Upon his 90th birthday, I was among those invited to celebrate at Islamkoy, in Isparta. During my mandate as President of Romania, each year we had two state visits, a phenomenon rarely seen in the history of diplomatic relations: one in Bucharest and one in Ankara, each reinforced by other events hosted by Turkey at the same time. For instance, in Istanbul we discusses the launch of the grand project of Eduard Shevarnadze, „The Rebirth of the Silk Road”, at a meeting between the President of Turkey, the President of Georgia, the President of Azerbaijan and the President of Romania. The cultural raminfications of this project are today being taken up by the Institute for Advanced Studies in Levant Culture and Civilization.

Alongside bilateral relations, the Romania – Bulgaria – Turkey trilateral played an essential role in fostering Turkish goodwill and support for Romania’s accession to NATO. For the historians present, another aspect rarely seen in international relations bears mentioning. The Madrid summit ratified a staggered approach to the accession of Eastern European states to NATO; there was to be an initial round – made up of Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary, – while Romania  was nominated to the top spot in the second round of accession. The Turkish Parliament then proposed that the ratification of the first-round states’ admission into NATO only take place on the condition of Romania’s prior accession to the alliance. This gesture of goodwill on behalf of the Turkish Parliament, recorded in the proceedings of that institution, is somewhat lesser-known. Yet when we speak of the relations between Romania and Turkey, we cannot solely talk about history and diplomacy. We must take the two countries’ warm disposition towards each other as a whole into account, a state which might seem paradoxical to those whose knowledge is limited to that of mediaeval warfare or solely to the establishment of mutual diplomatic ties.

I would like to end with another confession. At the end of my mandate, in September of 2000, I was interviewed by a Financial Times journalist, who was writing a very broad and thorough article about the situation in the Balkans. One of the questions he asked was something along the lines of „Why are there so many Turkish investors in Romania, and so few Western investors from the United States or the United Kingdom?”My answer was short and revealing: because Turkish investors don’t read the Financial Times, have first-hand knowledge of Romania, and picked up on the existence of a fundamental factor for the development of economic relations: a friendly business environment. This friendly atmosphere was not created by politicians. It comes from the imagination, the myths and fables we’ve spun about one another, and thanks to it the friendship between Romania and Turkey has lasted for centuries. It has held strong so far, and I hope it will last a long time from now, so that other researchers have the opportunity to study our intercultural relations in the coming centuries.”


Prof.dr. Ioan-Aurel Pop, președintele Academiei Române, rectorul Universității Babeș-Bolyai din Cluj-Napoca: Professor Ioan-Aurel Pop, PhD, Rector of the “Babeş–Bolyai” University, Cluj–Napoca, President of the Romanian Academy:

„Two modern states, that fulfilled different yet important roles in the history of the European continent.”

„At the close of the modern era, Romania’s relations with the Ottoman Empire had a very special basis, and for the start of the contemporary era, our rapport with Turkey was also grounded on new developments. This was the rapport betweeen two modern states, that fulfilled different yet important roles in the history of the European continent. The tradition of Turkology Studies is very strong in Bucharest and, of course, in Iaşi. Yet I would remind our audience that, following the Great Unification, shortly after the founding of the National University of Dacia Superior – whose „godfather” was the great historian Vasile Pârvan, who also taught there for a semester and whose commenement speech, „The Duty of Our Lives”, contains valuable insight to this day – South-European studies, with a large omponent of Turkology, were developed at the academic level. From this basis, after the fall of the Communist regime, our university was the first in Romania to establish an Institute of Turkology, headed by Professor Tasin Gemil, who represented us as Ambassador of Romania to two Turkic countries, broken off from the former Soviet Union. He was also recently elected a member of the Academy of Kazakhstan, which represents an international recognition of his academic importance and his contribution to the study of Turkology.

Moreover, more recently the Romanian Academy and several universities in Romania have developed very good relationships with Turkey and thus had a taste of the Turkish academic milieu. We successfully published an album containing photographs that Professor Gemil found in the Istanbul University Library, which begin from as early as the end of the 19th century, in 1878 – when official diplomatic relations were established between the two countries, and continue with interesting depictions, primarily of Dobrogea. The album was published following a joint effort by the Universities of Cluj-Napoca and Istanbul. I would also like to draw attention to the very good relationships we have fostered through this facilitating agency, TIKA, which has helped us tremendously with supplying tehnical machinery for several of our university laboratories. As such, our rapport is dynamic, with the Institute of Turkology publishing a scientific journal edited in several languages, titled „Studia et documenta turcologica”. We are happy to see that the Institute for Advanced Studies in Levant Culture and Civilization and the Institute of Turkology have such strong ties, thanks in no small part to the great personality of President Emil Constantinescu, whose wish it has been that in this corner of Europe relationships be more than amiable. I see in today’s symposium, „Research regarding the relationships between Romania and Turkey between 1878 and 2018” a testament to this reciprocal desire.”


E.s. Osman Koray Ertaș, ambasadorul Turciei în România:His Excellency Osman Koray ERTAȘ, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Romania:

„Regardless of transient evolutions, Turkey remains a strong ally and friend to Romania”

„Turkey’s relations with Romania have continuously developed over our 140 years of common history. The Royal Household of Romania created the framework of bilateral relations with both the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic of modern times, and this close framework is manifested to this day. Even during the Cold War, despite being on different sides, we had a special relationship keeping in mind the specificities of the time period. However, these topics will be touched upon at length by the distinguished academics here with us today. Our relations with Romania have developed very rapidly after the 1990s. Following Romania’s transition to democracy, Ankara and Bucharest first became close allies and commercial partners. Then, through the bilateral accord reached at the highest levels in 2011, we entered a strategic partnership. Of our neighbouring countries, Romania is today the one with which we have the closest relations politically, militarily and economically. Our Turko-Tatar co-ethnics and co-nationals, as living testament of our common history, represent a durable bridge of friendship. We hold a special appreciation for the Romanian policy of safeguarding the rights of our compatriots. Such a daring, inclusive and tolerant approach should be taken as an exemplary model by other countries in our region.

Economic and commercial cooperation is one of the cornerstones of our relationship. Turkey is Romania’s largest commercial partner after the European Union. In 2017, the value of bilateral commercial exchanges reached 5.5 billion US dollars, a constant trend towards our goal of 10 billion. Turkey has over 7 billion dollars in investments in Romania, including here those in tertiary countries. Over 15.000 Turkish businesses are active in Romania’s industrial, commercial, service, finance, real estate, construction, grocery, production and transport sectors. Due to these intense commercial and economic exchanges, the number of outbound flights to Turkey has recently risen to over 50 a week.

While other parts of the world are enjoying the Fourth Industrial Revolution, our region is still subject to proxy wars, sectarian violence, territorial disputes, terrorism and suffering. Unfortunately, the surpluses of these wealthy nations are invested in the region in the form of arms deals and of violence, instead of aid, prosperity and development. Although these problems do not affect us directly, we cannot afford the luxury of approaching them as a third-party observer. We have to resolve these issues through a principled approach to foreign policy, one based on enterprise and proactivity. This foreign policy we like to call enterprising and humanitarian. „Enterprising”, because we base our foreign policy on a realistic, independent, creative and efficient approach, one that can bring together different elements of power in an optimal manner without hesitating to take the initiative while at the same time pursuing sustainable development and peace. Our foreign policy can also be called „humanitarian” because of our aim and efforts to contribute to the peace, well-being and prosperity of humanity without discriminating based on ethnic, religious or sectarian grounds. With this approach, and given recent developments, we have become the world’s largest supplier of humanitarian aid. In 2017, humanitarian assistance offered by Turkey reached a figure of 8.06 billion dollars. In 2016, our contribution was 6 billion dollars. Divided by the levels of GDP in the past two years, Turkey has become the most generous provider of humanitarian aid worldwide.

Moreover, our country harbours the largest number of refugees in the world. Turkey is one of the countries that are paying the highest price for the war in Syria, and for its effects beyond the Syrian border. Currently, we are housing over 3.5 million Syrian refugees. We have spent 32 billion dollars to welcome them to our country. In some cities, the number of Syrian refugees has even surpassed the number of local residents. Around 350.000 Syrian babies were born in Turkey. Syrian and Iraki refugees to our country have access to free medical services. Approximately 613.000 children are receiving free education. All basic services in the refugee camps are covered by us, free of charge, and many international organizations regard us as a worthy example in this regard. Besides the refugee crisis, Turkey has had to simultaneously deal with three other setbacks: the bloodiest military coup in its history, violent terrorist attacks and proxy wars on its borders. Any one of these crises, even on a smaller scale, could easily have destabilized any European country were it to have taken place there. We have all witnessed the efects of the migrant crisis of 2015: internal political turmoil, weakened governments, the questioning of the fundamental principles of the European Union, new radical and xenophobic movements. Despite all this, Turkey has managed to remain an element of stability in the region. Within two years, we have managed to lift the state of emergeny we were forced to institute after the military coup, and to focus on a reformist agenda, with a focus on the accession process to the European Union. We regard Romania’s taking over of the Presidency of the European Council in 2019 as a very important opportunity in this regard.

Both our bilateral contacts and those reached through NATO continue in perseverance, as do the trilateral reunions between our countries. The Trilateral Meeting of the Foreign Affairs Ministers of Turkey, Poland and Romania took place in Bucharest not two weeks ago. That was an opportunity for us, as close allies, to discuss topics of regional interest. Regardless of transient evolutions, Turkey is a strong ally and a friend of Romania. The ties that were established 140 years ago continue to reap positive results to the benefit of both our peoples, especially with regard to security, economy and trade.”


Yasemin Melez Biçer, coordonatorul Agenția de Cooperare și Coordonare Turcă (TIKA) la BucureștiMrs. Yasemin MELEZ BİÇER, co-ordinator of TIKA:

„Academic and scientific relations are continuously developing due to ongoing concrete projects”

„The relationship between Romania and Turkey is one based on a long history. Certainly, both the activities and relationships between scientists and academicians in both countries are continuously and dynamically developing, due to the ongoing concrete projects in both nations. In the context of the permanent development of bilateral relationships between the two states, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency – TIKA –, an entity part of the Embassy of the Turkish Republic to Bucharest, began its activity in Bucharest in 2015. Through its ongoing projects, occurring in many different fields such as education, medicine, restoration and the development of academic and cultural partnerships, our agency is proud to contribute to an even better rapport between our two countries.”


Decanul turcologiei române, Mustafa A. Mehmed, în colaborare cu cercetătorul ştiințific dr.Nagy Pienaru (Institutul de istorie „Nicolae Iorga”, al Academiei Române):Dean of Romanian Turkology, Mustafa A. MEHMED (in collaboration with Scientific Researcher Nagy PIENARU, PhD, from the “Nicolae Iorga” Institute of History at the Romanian Academy in Bucharest):

„140 years of Romanian–Turkish Diplomatic Relations”

By means of the piece of work bearing the title above, the authors attempt to go through the main phases of the 140 years of diplomatic relations between Romania and Turkey, highlighting at the same time some of the noteworthy events which took place during each of those phases. As is well known, the relations between the Romanian principalities (Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania) and the Ottoman Empire evolved under special circumstances of subordination, falling short of full annexation and integration; a different evolution from others in the Balkans who were directly influenced by the Turkish and Islamic legal and administrative system. The Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, concluded by the Treaty of Berlin (July 1878), would radically change the relations between Romania as an independent state and the Sublime Porte, setting both on a position of equality according to the customs of international diplomacy. After the signing of the Treaty, the first phase of Romanian-Turkish diplomatic relations developed straightforwardly, through the founding of diplomatic representations in Bucharest and Istanbul. The First World War (1914 – 1918) would bring the two countries together yet apart, locked in conflict on different sides of the hostilities. At the end of the First World War, at the Paris Peace Conference (1918 – 1920), Romania achieved its “Great Unification”, while the Sublime Porte, losing the war, fell irredeemably into disarray. The Turkish people, led by Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk) and his fellow fighters, nevertheless started their liberation struggle, and were to eventually come out victorious through the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne on the 24th of July 1923. A few days later, the Republic of Turkey was proclaimed on the 29th of October, after the abolition of an Empire which had lasted for more than six centuries. Only later could New Turkey, led by M. K. Atatürk, become a free country, by taking control of its own fate. From this moment onwards and during the entire interbellum period, the diplomatic relations between Romania and the Republic of Turkey were to achieve important milestones, of which some have gone down in history. While Romania joined the Second World War on the side of the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy etc.) until 1944, Turkey somehow managed, with great difficulty, to maintain its neutrality until nearly the end of one of the most destructive conflicts of mankind. After the German Reich’s defeat, Romania entered the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence, becoming a part of the Socialist Bloc, while Turkey joined the network of democratic countries, joining NATO in 1952 and reinforcing the alliance’s strategically critical South-Eastern European flank. Several years after the Cold War had begun in earnest and Ceaușescu had become leader of Romania, despite the fact that socialism was gaining ground, diplomatic relations between Romania and Turkey were somehow resumed, and a system of reciprocal visits every six months, in one of the two capitals and at different levels of the administration, was established. Some of these were courtesy visits, without any other purpose such as Protocols or Conventions to be signed.  Only after the 1989 Revolution and Romania’s shift towards democracy did Romanian-Turkish relations fully stabilize, with major evolutions in their relations taking place in today’s completely new geopolitical landscape, with increasingly greater possibilities for their development. In our presentation, we shall identify the more important events or accomplishments of each phase of the 140 years of diplomatic relations between Romania and Turkey.


Lect. univ. dr. Adrian-Bogdan Ceobanu, Universitatea „Alexandru Ioan Cuza”, Iaşi:Associated Lecturer Adrian-Bogdan CEOBANU, PhD, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University, Iaşi:

Policy, Diplomacy and Economy. The Visits of the Romanian Ministers of Foreign Affairs to Constantinople (the end of the 19th – beginning of 20th centuries)

„With Romania achieving independence and the recognition of its new judicial status by the Ottoman Empire, Romanian-Ottoman relations overcame the tensions in place prior to 1877. Diplomatic relations between the two states were established in the autumn of 1878, with the reciprocal delegation of plenipotentiary ministers to each of the other’s capital, which modified the dynamics of bilateral relations. During the reign of Carol I, a number of Foreign Affairs ministers went on official visits to Constantinople. In fact, the young prince himself visited the Sultan’s residence in the autumn of 1866, where he received official confirmation of his rulership from Sultan Abdul-Asiz. In the present paper, we aim to present the context of the visits to the banks of the Bosphorus of two Romanian Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Mihail Pherekyde and Alexandru Marghiloman. We will assess the composition of their official delegations and the manner of their reception by the Ottoman authorities. We are primarily interested in the political and diplomatic aspects of the two visits, but also in their economic implications in the rapport between the governments of Bucharest and Constantinople.


Conf. univ. dr. Marian Zidaru, Universitatea „Andrei Şaguna”, Constanţa:Associated Lecturer Marian ZIDARU, PhD, “Andrei Șaguna” University, Constanța:

„SOE in the Balkans during World War II: The Case of Salvet Lütfi Tozan alias ’Pants’”

SALVET LÜTFI TOZAN was a Turkish subject of Bosnian origin, bilingual in Serbian and Turkish and fluent in French. During the Great War he took an active part in politics and strongly opposed the Young Turks’ alliance with Germany. Prior to and immediately after the outbreak of World War II, several members of British Embassy in Ankara were frequent guests at the Pants household, among them Commander Wolfson who enlisted Pants’ support in the provision of naval and other intelligence. In 1941, Commander Wolfson made an agreement with Pants whereby the latter engaged in chartering Turkish ketches on behalf of the Germans as a means of providing regular sources of information. During the Second World War, Tozan was one of the most important SOE agent in the entire Balkans. In August of 1941 the Romanian Surete arrested Rică Georgescu, who was Iuliu Maniu’s collaborator and the W/T operator. With Georgescu’s and the W/T set’s disappearance from the scene, SOE had to fall back on couriers as a means of maintaining contact with Maniu. In trouble, the SOE resorted to simple and traditional methods that countered the German Svilengrad border control with the privileges of diplomacy, which even the Nazis still found it expedient to respect. They used Tozan, who was then Finnish Consul in Istanbul. He became the main SOE contact with Maniu. But shortly thereafter he was arrested by the Hungarian Secret Police. A Hungarian agent, with whom he was instructed to make contact, in an excess of suspicion misunderstood his approach and denounced him. But two payments into a Swiss Bank of 20,000 Swiss francs and 20,000 dollars brought Tozan safely out of his Hungarian cell with a Croatian passport. The present paper tells Tozan’s story between 1941-1944.


Melike Roman, Bucureşti:Melike ROMAN, Bucharest:

„A book about Nicolae Titulescu edited in Turkey”

The present conference, bearing the title of „Research Regarding the Relationships between Romania and Turkey between 1878 and 2018”, highlights the 140 years of continuous cooperation and friendship between Romania and Turkey. Without a shadow of a doubt, the sustainability of these relations is due both to the wisdom and efforts of Romanian and Turkish public officials, and to the feelings of mutual friendship and sympathy that have been enlivened in the hearts and thoughts of two nations that share the same geographic space. In this context, I would like to bring to your attention a book published by Bülent Habora in Istanbul in 1982, under the title: “Nicolae Titulescu, the Great Romanian Patriot, the Diplomat and the Statesman” and subtitle “The Sincere and Permanent Friend of Turkey”. At the beginning of the book there are pictures of Nicolae Titulescu and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk followed by the caption: “Romania and Turkey are determined to pursue a sincere and affectionate friendship, with the belief that it will grow stronger in the future. Signed, Nicolae Titulescu.” “Feelings bind nations stronger than treaties do. Romania has a fraternal place in o

ur hearts. Signed, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.”


Dr. Claudiu-Victor Turcitu, Arhivele Naţionale ale României, Șef Birou Arhive Medievale, Fonduri Personale și Colecţii:

Claudiu-Victor TURCITU, PhD, National Archives of Romania:

„Ottoman-Turkish Documents in the National Archives of Romania”

Due to the geo-strategic position of the three Romanian Principalities and the historical evolution of this space, the Ottoman-Turkish archival sources found within the National Archives of Romania are naturally quite extensive. The present paper intends to present a general image of the quantity and types of Ottoman documents within the repositories of the NAR. Unfortunately, despite the efforts undertaken by prestigious archivists and experts in Ottoman paleography, the dispersion of the Ottoman-Turkish documents in many funds and collections, together with the paucity of experts in Ottoman paleography has inevitably led to a reduction of access to the information contained by these archival sources. This is the reason why the inventories of these funds and collections are incomplete, for many such sources the only mention being “document in Ottoman-Turkish writing”. We should mention that an analysis of the status of Ottoman-Turkish documents and their content was already compiled by the well-known historian Mihail Guboglu in 1957. In the years since, due to the transfer of documents between the territorial branches of the National Archives, the return of illegally confiscated documents to the rightful owners and the policy of acquisitions of the National Archives of Romania, significant changes were observed in comparison to the situation presented by Mihail Guboglu six decades ago, primarily in regard to the quantity of documents in our posession. At the same time, we will attempt to highlight the actions undertaken by the archivists-paleographers of the National Archives since 1960 towards the completion of the national archival fund, which, following the policy of mutual agreements between the National Archives and other archival institutions – in particular with Başbakanlik Arşivi – created an important and rich collection of documents on substitution support (microfilm), which is a critical source of research on the evolution of Turkish-Ottoman relations. Finally, we will focus our analysis on the new directions and perspectives offered by contemporary advances in archival science, especially with regard to the achievement of standardized archival descriptions and the digitization of archival documents.


Prof. univ. dr. Călin Felezeu, Universitatea „Babeş-Bolyai”, Cluj-Napoca:Professor Călin FELEZEU, PhD, “Babeş-Bolyai” University, Cluj-Napoca:

„The Evolution of Bilateral Relations between Romania and Turkey in the Post-December 1989 Period”

In 2018, we celebrate 140 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries, shortly after the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78, which in Romania is knows as the War of Independence. Beginning with the September 1991 visit to Romania of Turkish President Turgut Ozal, a stellar opportunity for the signing of an agreement of Romanian-Turkish friendship, cooperation and good neighbourly relations, the presidential and prime ministerial visits between the two countries have had a minimally annual frequency. To these are added the frequent bilateral consultations at the ministerial level of experts in different fields. The bilateral relations between these two strategic partners, Romania and Turkey, were and continue to be exceptional, a fact which is also proven by their common projects carried out over 140 years of partnership in the fields of politics, economics, academia etc. During the diplomatic mandate of the current Turkish Ambassador, H.E. Osman Koray Ertaş in Bucharest, these relationships have fruitfully developed, which is also being reflected in the strengthening of Turkish ties with the city of Cluj-Napoca.


Conf. univ. dr. habil. Valentin Naumescu, Universitatea Babeș-Bolyai”, Cluj-Napoca:Associated Lecturer Valentin NAUMESCU, PhD, “Babeş-Bolyai” University, Cluj-Napoca:

„Post-Kemalist Turkey and the New Strategic Relations at the West – Middle East Confluence. NATO in the Black Sea Region and the Implications for Romania”

Post-Kemalism, reflected in a mixture of political, strategic and societal transformations of Turkey over the past years, has created  - beyond the already known domestic implications – the conditions for a number of significant developments of Ankara’s foreign affairs in the region. It seems that Turkey is slowly “leaving” the West, after reaching a quite advanced level of integration in the past, and is now turning its face toward the Middle East, towards authoritarianism and Islam. NATO’s situation in the Black Sea is just one of the multiple facets of this change. The stagnation of Turkey’s accession to the European Union and the souring of US-Turkey relations, alongside the international negative assessments of Turkey following the attempted coup of July 2016, assessments which were focused on upholding liberal democracy and the rule of law, all have served to create a new context of regional and bilateral relations. The aim of this research is to explore the quality and substance of the relations and trust in the Black Sea region, between the NATO allies but also between the allies and Russia, taking into consideration the improvement of political relations between Ankara and Moscow. Romania’s position in this process will also come under scrutiny. Based on the qualitative method of discourse analysis (from political statements and official documents) but also on secondary sources (interviews, mass-media analyses and comments, academic bibliography etc.), this paper explores how deep and irreversible Turkey’s current alienation from the West is, and whether there are any signs that the weakening of relations with NATO and with the EU could only be temporary.


Dr. Margareta Aslan, Universitatea „Babeș-Bolyai”, Cluj-Napoca: Margareta ASLAN, PhD, “Babeş-Bolyai” University, Cluj-Napoca:

„Cultural Diplomacy between Romania and Turkey (1990 – 2018)”

Cultural diplomacy is one of the main pillars of diplomacy, one through which bilateral relations among states can be built and developed to superlative forms. The cultural diplomacy of Romania in the Republic of Turkey is being developed in a more visible and organized form through the inauguration of the „Dimitrie Cantemir” Romanian Cultural Institute in Istanbul. Conversely, in Romania the local and cultural Turkish institutes that focus on the promotion of Turkish culture are carrying out their remarkable activities with clear, measurable and visible results in various fields (commerce, tourism, education, medicine, etc.). The bilateral relations between Romania and Turkey have been and will remain truly exceptional, a fact which is also reflected in the cultural milieu thanks to the sustained efforts of both institutional and societal mechanisms, which will continue to work together to promote the cultures of our two countries and build social and cultural bridges that are meant to facilitate the fusion and fruitful collaboration of cultural elements in the formation of future “Cultural Ambassadors”.


Drd. Güven Güngör,  Academia de Studii Economice, București:Güven GÜNGÖR, PhD c. at the Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest:

„The Evolution of Economic Ties between Romania and Turkey in the Last Decade”

There are certain countries whose name has more often been pronounced during the last decade than during previous ones. Especially so since the global economic downturn highlighted the performance of those countries, among which Turkey is considered as a special case. Being one of the most important actors both in its region and on the global scale, Turkey demonstrates a very well crafted combination of democratic principles combined with its unique cultural and religious characteristics. This has proven true particularly when taking into consideration that the economic crisis we are faced with is one that has had the most profound effect globally since the Great Depression, and one where even those countries which had been the stars of the previous decade were severely affected.  Turkey has nevertheless succeeded to cope with this crisis. Moreover, Turkey has played a very important role in the Balkan region in terms of its contribution to the improvement of market economies and international trade, especially so after the collapse of  the Iron Curtain.  Turkey’s role as regional developer is also reflected in Romanian-Turkish economic and commercial relations. Keeping in mind that Romania is the largest country in the region, it had and still has tremendous economic potential to develop and to establish strong economic and commercial ties with neighbouring countries and beyond. A chronological study of the bilateral relations between Romania and Turkey provides us at a glance with the main indicators supporting the above mentioned aspects.

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