The American-Turkish Council will be playing host to a group of 12 senior congressional staffers during a week-long tour of Turkey and Georgia in order to help these key aides understand and appreciate the opportunities and challenges facing modern Turkey today. The Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) will assist the ATC with the tour that will take place between May 24 and June 1.
The staffers represent the offices of Senator Chuck Hagel–Senator Dan Coats–Representative Saxby Chamblis–Rep. Norman D. Dicks–Rep. Kay Granger–Rep. J.C. Watts–Jr.–Rep. Harold Rogers–Sen. Gordon Smith–Sen. Slade Gordon–and staffers from the Senate Foreign Relations and House International Relations committees.
The ATC Executive Director Lincoln McCurdy explained that the staffers will receive briefings at the Turkish Foreign Ministry and the Turkish General Staff before splitting into two groups.
One group will visit the Southeast region–including Incirlik air base–and the BOTAS pipeline facilities at Ceyhan (the end terminal of the proposed Baku-Ceyhan pipeline). Then the group will travel to Gaziantep and the Southeast Anatolia Project’s (GAP) irrigation project–which is said to be world’s fifth largest in scope with 22 dams and 19 power plants–built on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
The northeast group will travel to Georgia and meet with President Schevardnadze upon his request. Later–the group will visit the Georgian port of Supsa on the Black Sea–which is one point along the proposed Baku-Ceyhan pipeline.