In a wide-ranging speech, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım addressed his country's role in the Middle East. He said: 

  • Turkish sacrifices in the name of European security have been overlooked. The country hasn't received the unequivocal support it would expect as a NATO member.
  • No state has done as much for Syrian refugees as Turkey - but eventually these people should return to their homeland. A peace must be brokered.
  • It is hard to see how Assad could possibly remain in office. However, the people of Syria should decide his fate.
  • Washington's decision to partner with 'terrorist' Kurdish forces to fight ISIS in Syria is lamentable.
  • Turkey's economy is strong, with a growth rate of more than 5%, a figure set to climb further this year.


This event was chaired by Alia Moubayed, Director of Geo-economics and Strategy, IISS, and took place at the IISS in London.


Alia Moubayed

Alia Moubayed

Alia Moubayed is Director of the Geo-economics and Strategy Programme at the IISS, based in London. She specialises in macroeconomic and trade policy, the economics of the Middle East and the political economy of resource-rich countries, as well as trade negotiations. Her commentary has featured in the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy and many other outlets.

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Event details

Monday 27 November, 5–6pm GMT
Arundel House, London
Binali Yıldırım, Prime Minister of Turkey