Established with the initiative of a group of academics, media workers and bureaucrats to contribute to the development of the International Relations discipline in Turkey, to bring together the employees in related disciplines and to support the studies related to the field, the International Relations Council (UIK) Association became a legal entity on July 6, 2004.
Founding Governing Board Members of the Association were Prof. Dr Ömer Kürkçüoğlu (Ankara University), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mustafa Aydın (Ankara University), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Meliha Altunışık (METU), Ambassador (ret.) Turhan Fırat, Assist. Prof. Dr Çağrı Erhan (Ankara University), Celal Cem Oğuz, Gülden Özel (TRT) and Dr Erdem Denk (Ankara University).
The Association was the first and still is the only organization in the field of International Relations to be organized throughout Turkey. Thus, it adopted its English name as the International Relations Council of Turkey.
The association started its activities in April 2005 by organizing the "Workshop on International Relations Studies and Education in Turkey", which later turned into congresses to be held biennially. The Distinguished Service Award, Young Scholars Support Award, Security Academy, and Foreign Policy Academy were added to its regular activities in the following years. Over the years, collaborations with the International Relations journal, the International Studies Association, the Turkish-Greek Forum, and other similar organizations have been added.
The aims, principles, and main activities of the Association to support its functions are;
- To bring together academics, researchers, and professionals who work in the discipline of International Relations and related fields to create a collegial atmosphere where they can share their works, knowledge, and experience,
- To carry out activities to support people working in the field of International Relations,
- To carry out activities, such as organizing congresses, symposiums, seminars, conferences, panels etc., to inform and familiarize the Turkish public about international developments,
- To manage training programs, present awards, and support projects on International Relations to enhance the study of the discipline in Turkey and abroad,
- To contribute to the development of standards of teaching in the field of International Relations in Turkey,
- To contribute to the development of the field of International Relations in general by publishing books, journals, reports, brochures, opinion pieces, etc.,
- To carry out activities permitted by the legislation to increase interaction among researchers, academics, and professionals in the field of International Relations,
- To contribute to the education of International Relations in Turkey through the development of educational activities, scholarships, and grant programs.
Anyone who works as a researcher, academic, professional bureaucrat, and media member in the discipline of International Relations and related fields can become a member of the International Relations Council of Turkey. By law, only Turkish citizens can become full members with voting rights. Those with other nationalities can join with honorary member status.