The International Relations Council, Turkey (IRCT) is a non-profit association established on July 6, 2004, as a network of scholars and practitioners to become a hub for research, networking, and dissemination of knowledge in the field of International Relations (IR) and related areas in Turkey. It carries out activities to increase interaction among experts and to enhance public awareness on issues related to international politics, security, foreign policy, international organizations, international law, and the history of international politics. As the primary association of the field in Turkey, the IRCT supports academic development in IR with events, scholarships, competitions, and academic awards.
Significant activities of IRCT are a biannual Convention on “IR Teaching and Education” since 2005, a quarterly journal, Uluslararası İlişkiler / International Relations, since 2004, yearly Security Academy since 2010 and Foreign Policy Academy since 2015, the annual Neighborhood Symposium since 2012, Security Portal and Panorama Portal since 2019, and various seminars, symposiums, conferences, workshops, and brainstorming events on relevant topics.
The IRCT has collaborated with major universities in Turkey and obtained support from, among others, the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, the Turkish Chambers of Commerce and Commodity Exchanges, Turkish Cooperation Agency, the US Embassy in Turkey, the NATO Public Diplomacy Division, Bertelsmann Foundation, Black Sea Trust of the German Marshall Fund of the US, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), Fredrich Ebert Stiftung, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Center for European Policy Studies.
The IRCT has been a “Cooperating Organization” of the International Studies Association since 2011, a founding member of the Balkan Network of Political Science Associations since 2016, and a Network Partner of the CATS of SWP since 2020.
The main aims of the Association 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.
The IRCT currently has over 400 active members from 78 universities in Turkey, ten supporting staff, and several interns. Anyone who works as a researcher, academic, bureaucrat, or media member in the discipline of international relations and related fields can become a member of the IRTC. By law, only Turkish citizens or foreigners with residency permits in Turkey can become full members with voting rights. Those with other nationalities can join with honorary member status.