One of the symposium's pivotal sessions was dedicated to the transformation of conflict areas in Syria.
The VIII. International Middle East Symposium convened at Istanbul Gelisim University from 24th to 26th October 2023, offering a comprehensive exploration of the Middle East's intricate dynamics, particularly in the context of ongoing political uncertainties and expectations.
Several significant insights emerged from the discussions:
- Conflict and Armed Factions in Yemen: Esmail Ali Abdullah AL-SUHILI, a researcher at the Mokha Center for Strategic Studies, Yemen, presented on "Factors Sustaining The Ongoing Armed Conflict in Yemen." His discourse drew attention to the persistent nature of the conflict and the potential emergence of distinct regions within Yemen. Audience interactions further accentuated the roles of Al-Qaeda, the Houthis, and the Transactional Council, underscoring the multifaceted interplay of armed factions and alliances in the nation.
- ISIS and Local Communities: Samir ALABDULLAH, representing the Harmon Center for Contemporary Studies, Syria, delved into "The Relationship Between Local Communities and Extremist Organizations: ISIS As an Example." He detailed ISIS's challenges, ranging from legal system inconsistencies to economic pitfalls and their ill-fated attempts at currency minting.
- Symbiotic Relationship between the Assad Regime and PKK: Oğuzhan BİLGİN of Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli Üniversitesi, Türkiye, unveiled insights into the "Symbiotic Relationship between the Assad Regime and PKK." He emphasized the enduring, mutual support between these two entities, noting Syria's historical backing of the PKK against Turkey, even without officially recognizing the Kurdish identity.
Spotlight Panel Discussion: Transformation of Conflict Areas in Syria
One of the symposium's pivotal sessions was dedicated to the transformation of conflict areas in Syria. Expertly chaired by Mehmet RAKİPOĞLU, this panel hosted two profound presentations:
- Firas FAHAM from CUSUR Araştırma Merkezi, Türkiye, explored the "Changes in Syria after the Ukrainian conflict", elucidating the geopolitical shifts and potential ramifications on Syria's political landscape.
- Wael ALWAN, also representing CUSUR Araştırma Merkezi, Türkiye, spoke on the "Anatomy of the Normalization Story of Arab States with the Syrian Regime: Reasons and Goals", shedding light on the evolving relations of Arab states with Syria and the strategic motivations behind these transitions.
The symposium's depth and breadth were further enriched by the presence of the director of the Czech-Slovak Institute of Oriental Studies, showcasing the institute's commitment to fostering understanding and promoting international collaborations on Middle Eastern matters.