Turkey is arguably the most strategically positioned countries in the world and Istanbul, the most strategically positioned city. Turkey stands on the crossroads between two continents and indeed two cultures. It also sits astride the Bosporus Strait, connecting two of the world’s most important seas, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.
Turkey has rail and/or road links from Armenia, Iran, and Azerbaijan (the exclave of Nakhchivan) in the east, Georgia in the northeast, Bulgaria and Greece in the northwest, and Iraq and Syria in the southeast. And from there to the rest of the Middle East and Central Asia.
Conflict in the neighbouring countries has led to major influxes of refugees heading for Europe or simply the nearest safe haven. Turkey has an estimated four million refugees currently hosted, mainly coming from Iraq and Syria.
Terrorism is a major problem from both domestic terrorist groups including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and the Gülen movement. As well as spill over from neighbouring conflicts.
Turkeys strategic position as a routeway between continents also means that is also a major route for human trafficking, drugs, weapons and other goods bound for the lucrative European market.
The heroin trade from Afghanistan to Europe is especially a problem with Turkish organised groups controlling the wholesale traffic of heroin to Europe.
Turkey is working hard with neighbours including the EU to address these challenges including the sharing of intelligence, conducting joint operations, and offering humanitarian assistance.
With its unique position as one of the world’s gateway cities, Istanbul and Turkey is the perfect place re-convene for the next meeting of the World Border Security Congress.
The World Border Security Congress is a high level three day event that will once again discuss and debate current and future policies, implementation issues and challenges as well as new and developing technologies that contribute towards safe and secure border and migration management.
We look forward to welcoming you to Istanbul, Turkey on 24th-26th April 2024 for the next gathering of border and migration management professionals.