My topic of study would be to have a closer look at the recent developments in the MENA region. I personally find the developments remarkable, since the very beginning of this year, I mean since January 2011, which all started in Tunisia. I find this date very meaningful, because it is the first month of the second decade of the 21st Century and thus the end of the first ten years of the Millennium. It is unforgettable and very easy to remember. In that sense it is historic.
Distinguished colleagues, academicians and ladies and gentlemen, After my several visits to Cairo and Egypt in my former capacity as Ambassador and Chairman of Strategic Research Centre of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I have continued my contacts with my Egyptian counterparts and colleagues in different for a during my several visits to Egypt, as well as our hosting them in Turkey.

I was given the privilege and pleasure of chairing this discussion session. Before opening the floor for discussions and for your precious remarks about our theme “the desert and terrorism”, I would like to make some remarks of my own. But I would like to make one remark from the beginning which may be normally made at the end. I would emphasize that the fertile ground for terrorism is not in the physical desert, but the cultural desert.