International Symposium On The Black Sea Maritime History
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International Symposium on the Black Sea Maritime History was organized by Pîrî Reis University Maritime History Research Centre in support of Black Sea Association of Maritime Institute (BSAMI) via zoom and YouTube on 31 August 2021 from İstanbul/Turkey. The primary aim of this symposium was to exercise and maintain the ability of maritime history research activities and to promote high quality of studies in maritime history, in spite of prevailing pandemic conditions. The Black Sea is located at the crossroads between two continents-Europe and Asia-whilst it also comprises a part of the important crises regions in the world and human history. The Black Sea region is of increasing geopolitical, military-strategic and geo-economic importance. Oil and gas pipelines, as well as fiber-optic cables, run along the bottom of the sea, while on the surface hundreds of ships crisscross it daily moving people and goods. For centuries, the Black Sea has been fought over by some of the world’s major empires. Specifically, The Turkish Straits, two internationally significant waterways, allows maritime connections from the Black Sea all the way to the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, the Atlantic Ocean via Gibraltar, and the Indian Ocean through the Suez Canal, making them crucial international waterways. In this symposium, the main intention was to focus on all aspects of maritime history matters in the Black Sea and therefore the programme was designed accordingly. Programme began with opening remarks of symposium co-chairs Prof. Dr. Oral Erdoğan and Admiral (R) Metin Ataç by emphasising on the main reasons for the event and the role of the University within maritime history research. Opening remarks on the importance of the Black Sea continued with Mr. Tamer Kıran, the chairman of the board of trustees. After opening remarks, the first keynote speaker Prof. Dr. Alexey Postnikov presented his speech titled as “Slavs (Rus’) on the Black Sea in the Early Middle Ages (before the 18th Century)”. The symposium continued with the first session chaired by Dr. Funda Songur and three papers were presented emphasising different aspects of the Black Sea History. Second part of the symposium began with the second keynote speech delivered by Professor Alexander Mikaberidze. Professor Mikaberidze hightlighted the challenges of maritime history of the Black Sea. Second session followed the keynote speech, chaired by Asst. Prof. Dr. Aydın Şıhmantepe, started with presentation on salt smuggling in the region and continued with regional security issues. The symposium was finalised with closing remarks underlining results of each study presented in the symposium.