Last week, we concluded our first Domain Name System (DNS) Forum in Istanbul. The forum attracted over 70 participants representing a variety of local stakeholders, from government and academia to technology and business. The discussions were vibrant and stimulated the start of what will be an ongoing dialogue. And a special thanks goes to our interpreters, who made it possible for participants to engage in the language of their choice.
The Forum covered a variety of topics including: new gTLDs, Registrar business, ccTLD operations, DNS security and the domain name ecosystem in Turkey. Statistics presented at the Forum showed significant progress in the Internet and ICT sectors, as well as growth in infrastructure, services and user penetration. Interesting insights concerning the Turkish business and legislative environments were also shared and helped shed light on some serious challenges facing entrepreneurs and start-ups. These are significant hurdles for the entire IT and domain name sector in Turkey. Specifically, the session on Registrars' Strategies highlighted the lack of creative DNS marketing tools available in Turkey. However, this discovery did result in the recognition and recommendation that synergies should be created between Registrars and other online businesses to raise awareness about domain names.
Over the past few years, we have seen DNS Forums emerge in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and in other parts of the world. These forums provide a healthy space for communities to come together and discuss issues of regional importance that may not receive the same level of attention at global meetings. The forums also help raise awareness of the DNS industry at a local level and act as conduits for communities to cooperate on new opportunities.
ICANN is committed to engage with communities around the world and support efforts to further develop the domain names industry.
We look forward to our next DNS Forum in Turkey and we will count on our partners and stakeholders to take the lead on preparing for the second edition in 2015.