Under the auspices of H.E. Abdullah GÜL, President of the Republic of Turkey, SESRIC organized the International Forum on Financial Systems

Date : 11-12 September 2013 Venue : Istanbul - Turkey

The SESRIC, in collaboration with the Participation Banks Association of Turkey (TKBB), Borsa İstanbul, Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB), and the Independent Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (MÜSİAD), organized the “International Forum on Financial Systems (IFFS)”, which was held on 11-12 September 2013 at WOW Convention Center in İstanbul, Turkey. The Forum brought together world-renowned intellectuals including eminent economists, statesmen and policy-makers, heads of international organisations, as well as industry practitioners to explore the potential avenues for building a more just, inclusive and stable financial system for generations to come.

The Forum was organized under the auspices of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey – underlining the state-level support given to the Forum and its successful implementation. The Forum was inaugurated by H.E. Abdullah Gül, President of the Republic of Turkey. H.E. Mehmet Şimşek, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Turkey, also delivered a keynote address during the Forum.

The event was organised at a time when the world continued to struggle for curing the adverse effects of the global finance crisis which had broken out in 2007 and laid bare some structural problems in the health of the global financial system. The reform agenda which had been put forward and the reform actions taken so far by international actors were widely recognized as inadequate and far from being able to restore the credibility of the existing global financial architecture and its ability to perform its basic functions – the most important of which is to serve the real sector and real economic activities. Given the on-going structural problems undermining the sustainability of the global financial system and endangering the world’s socio-economic development, the Forum was held on the theme “Sustainable Finance for Sustainable Development”.

The speakers of the Forum included, among others, H.E. Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Ali Al-Madani, President of the IDB, Prof. Savaş Alpay, Director-General of SESRIC, Dr. Martin Raiser, Turkey Country Director of The World Bank, Mr. Durmuş Yılmaz, Chief Advisor to the Turkish President, Dr. M. İbrahim Turhan, Chairman and CEO of Borsa İstanbul, Mr. Daud Vicary Abdullah, President and CEO of INCEIF, Mr. Osman Akyüz, Secretary-General of TKBB, Mr. Aamir A. Rehman, Managing Director of Fajr Capital, Mr. Nail Olpak, Chairman of MÜSİAD, Prof. Richard Andreas Werner, Southampton University, Mrs. Lynda Ann Pettifor, Director of PRIME, Mr. Tarek El Diwany, Senior Partner in Zest Advisory, Mr. Bill Still, the producer of The Money Masters documentary, Mr. Rafe Haneef, CEO of HSBC Amanah, Dr. Nazım Ali, Director of Islamic Finance Project at Harvard University, Prof. Humayon Dar, Founding Chairman of Edbiz Corporation, Prof. Mahmoud Amin El Gamal, Rice University, Prof. Murat Yülek, İstanbul Commerce University, Mr. Abdullah Karataş, Islamic Development Bank, Mr. Baybars Altuntaş, Chairman of Turkish Business Angels Association, and Mr. Michael McMillen, Partner in Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle.

“In recent years, the global economy has been going through turbulence. The root of the crises, which are felt more heavily in especially the developed market economies, lies in the problems in the financial system,” said H.E. Abdullah Gül in his inaugural remarks to the meeting. He went on to say: “Therefore, it would be beneficial to discuss the policies and alternative financial methods from all dimensions and all points of views that can help the world come out of the global economic crisis.”

“In this vein, I have found the idea to organize an International Financial Systems Forum valuable and have taken the Forum under my patronage as President,” he added.

In his welcoming remarks, Prof. Savaş Alpay said: “We live in a world where 70 per cent of the population owns only 3 per cent of the global wealth and we have to find a solution to this problem.”

Mr. Durmuş Yılmaz made the case that only a tiny part of the world population lived the age of abundance and he put the question: “If the present financial system is the best financial system then why is the majority of the world population in this situation?”

The two-day Forum offered the participants an interactive platform for tabling several critical issues such as: the critical perspectives and new visions for creating a more equitable, stable and sustainable financial system; the global financial architecture in the post-crisis era and the prospects and challenges for alternative financial systems; the modalities for promoting a more risk and reward participatory financial system; capital market developments and the development of alternative business models for financial institutions; the role of financial systems in stability and inclusive sustainable development; as well as the potential ways for fostering entrepreneurship, private equity and venture capital in a more participation-based financial system.

For more information about the IFFS, please visit the official Forum website at


Welcome Speech of Prof. Savaş Alpay, Director General of SESRIC (English)


Opening Speeches at International Forum on Financial Systems (IFFS)
Speech of H. E. Abdullah Gül, President of Turkey (in Turkish) Speech of Prof. Savaş Alpay, Director General of SESRIC
Interviews with Prof. Savaş Alpay, Director General of SESRIC at International Forum on Financial Systems (IFFS)
CNBC-E News / Interview with Prof. Savaş Alpay, Director General of SESRIC (in Turkish) Bloomberg News / Interview with Prof. Savaş Alpay, Director General of SESRIC (in Turkish)