Turkish Republic Ministry of EU Affairs organized a conference on 'The European Union Digital Agenda and Turkey' in cooperation with the Ministry of Development and the European Commission on 20th April 2012 at Istanbul Congress Center.
The conference hosted the main players of ICT sector, specifically the telecommunications sector in Turkey together with the representatives of the European Commission, European Competitive Telecommunications Association (ECTA) and European Telecommunications Network Operators Association (ETNO).
Turkish Informatics Foundation (TIF) was at the event representing the Digital Turkey Platform and Istanbul Information Society Watchdog Group Project which is being carried with the co-finance of Istanbul Development Agency and support of TAGES. Mr.Faruk Eczacıbaşı, the President of TIF; Mr. Behçet Envarlı, the Secretary General of TIF and Sector Expert of Istanbul Information Society Watchdog Group Project; Miss.Gurbet Deniz YAVUZ, the Activity Coordinator of the Istanbul Information Society Watchdog Group Project attended to the event for the dissemination of the Digital Turkey Platform and the Project.
The Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE) is the European Commission's strategy to promote economic recovery and improve social inclusion through a more digitally proficient Europe. The Conference was held as a part of the efforts of the European Commission named "Going Local" to all Member States, to discuss key areas of the Digital Agenda for Europe with targeted audiences. The Conference was opened by Mr. Egemen BAĞIŞ, Minister for the EU Affairs and the Chief Negotiator. Mr. Mehmet YILMAZ, Assistant Deputy Minister of Development; Mr. Tayfun ACARER, Chairman of the Information and Communication Technologies Authority; and Mr. Tibor VARADI, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Turkey participated to the event to make the opening speeches.
Ms. Neelie KROES, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda for Europe, participated to the event with a video conference. In her video message Neelie KROES stated that there were three essential points to bear in mind for digital future; stakeholder involvement, ongoing reform and regulatory cooperation and she added that with these three pillars, Turkey could deliver an ambitious digital transition for its citizens and could even take a leading role in the Euroasia region for sharing policy ideas and best practices with other countries.
Mr. Gerard de GRAAF, Director at the Directorate-General for Information Society as well as the Ambassador of Digital Agenda, was the guest speaker of the event. The conference included two different panels on "The Impact of the EU Process on the Turkish Telecommunications Sector and Expectations of the Sector" and "ICT as a driver for growth, economic development and social change". In the panels, the experts brought forward that the telecommunications sector is the least problematic part for Turkey in adaption to the EU since there have been built EU based standards and technology in this sector in Turkey. Mr.Faruk Eczacıbaşı, The President of the Turkish Informatics Foundation, made a presentation during the panel on the situation of the information society and the ICT in the world and Turkey with statistical figures and the attempts of the foundation for the Digital Turkey Platform.
The event was organized with the financial support of Datateknik, and the contribution of Digital Turkey Platform, Information Technologies and Communications Authority, the European Telecommunications Network Operators Association (ETNO) and the European Competitive Telecommunications Association (ECTA).