Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC)

Holding a press conference following the 25th Anniversary Summit of the BSEC Heads of State and Government, hosted by Turkey, President Erdoğan said: “Turkey will continue to support the efforts aimed at ensuring peace and welfare in the Black Sea region.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made statements on the summit at a press conference held at the Istanbul Lütfi Kırdar International Convention and Exhibition Center.

Noting that the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), of which Turkey is the founder and mastermind, is being celebrated today and that one had better remember the inception years of the BSEC so as to grasp the importance of the current level it has reached, President Erdoğan said: “The early 1990s marked an era in which some countries got disintegrated and some others gained independence while the global system underwent a restructuring. Regional conflicts and ethnic agitations were unfolding at full pace back then. There were serious discussions as to whether the world was advancing toward a new order or a disorder. The BSEC, seeds of which we sowed at such a complicated international conjuncture, has flourished and blossomed over time and today turned 25.”


“A quarter-century of history amounts to a sizeable experience for an international organization,” underlined President Erdoğan, and continued: “In the years when we founded the BSEC, some didn’t deem it likely for this organization to survive. Given all these negative opinions, it is a success of the member states to have turned the BSEC into a worldwide organization.”

Wishing to celebrate many further 25th anniversaries together and thanking those participating in the summit, President Erdoğan said: “As you know, the BSEC’s modus operandi is in the form of relay race. The chairmanship-in-office changes hands between member states every six months. We have been holding the chairmanship-in-office since January 1, 2017. We have set the ‘sustainable development,’ one of the top themes of the next 15 years’ global agenda, as the main theme of our chairmanship-in-office. We know that the ‘sustainable development’ cannot go beyond being a slogan so long as economic inequalities persist in various regions of the world. We are of the opinion that this issue is not given due importance at a time when even the basic foodstuff is exposed to hazardous additives in an understanding of unlimited production and for the purposes of high profit margins. All must exert much greater efforts so as to ensure the sustainability of development in a world where billions of people are living in poverty.”


President Erdoğan further stressed that the BSEC may spearhead the efforts aimed at the ‘sustainable development,’ noting that to this end the meeting of the economy ministers of the BSEC member states and the meeting of the agriculture ministers of the BSEC member states were held in May under the chairmanship of Turkey, with the meeting of the health ministers of the BSEC member states scheduled for June 21 in Turkey.

Describing today’s BSEC summit as beneficial in that it enabled the relevant parties to address the topics that concern the future of the organization and the issues related to the bilateral relations at the highest level, President Erdoğan said: “That we crowned today’s summit with a communique agreed on by all the member states enabled us to concretize our goals for the future.”

President Erdoğan continued: “We will hand the chairmanship-in-office, which we took over from Serbia in Belgrade in December of last year, over to Ukraine on June 29. I extend my sincere thanks to all the states and organizations that lent support to Turkey during our chairmanship-in-office. I wish Ukraine good luck for its chairmanship-in-office in the second half of the year.”

President Erdoğan ended his remarks by underlining that Turkey is ready to do its part with regards to implementing all the political, economic and humanitarian projects that are necessary for the future of the region.


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