The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy has established the program "Germany Meets Turkey" to strengthen bi-lateral relations between the two countries and secure their positions in an increasingly globalized world. This goal is pursued by developing and supporting an interdisciplinary network of young, ambitious leaders from both Germany and Turkey, who share an interest in strengthening ties. In addition, the program works to raise awareness of salient issues in the relationship, and the wider context within which it is set, to the general public in Germany, Turkey, and other European states.

Program Background

Germany and Turkey have good political, economic, and cultural relations that have been continually strengthened. The current relationship is marked by regular, high-level diplomatic visits, increasing international trade and growing academic and cultural exchange. Despite the strong relationship, it is important that the two countries are brought even closer together. For Turkey, there are clear economic benefits of strong ties with Europe's largest economy and, in political terms, one of its key driving forces. For Germany, Turkey represents a key partner in the future development of the European Union.

Academic Themes

In recognition of the above, the activity of Germany Meets Turkey will focus on the following four academic themes:
  • The changing regional and global context of German-Turkish relations.
  • The economic, political, and cultural dimensions of Germany- Turkey relationship.
  • A comparison of the local and national challenges faced by Germany and Turkey, and consideration of possible collaboration on these areas.
  • The roles and responsibilities of Germany and Turkey in an increasingly integrated European Union, and an increasingly globalized world.

Program Activity

Germany Meets Turkey: A Forum for Young Leaders (GMT)
GMT brings together students and young professionals from Germany and Turkey for weeklong study tours, which alternate between the two countries. The study tours provide the participants with an opportunity to learn more about salient political, economic, and cultural issues concerning the relationship and the context in which it is set. In addition to academic components, participants take part in a diverse range of cultural and social activities that provide them with an opportunity to expand their personal networks and learn more about the two countries.

Conferences, Lectures, and Panel Discussions
In addition to the weeklong study tours organized by the young leaders forum, Germany Meets Turkey will also host a diverse range of conferences, lectures, and panel discussions. These events will take place in both Berlin and Turkey and will play a key role in raising awareness of the relationship and the issues outlined in the program themes above. These events will feature high profile speakers from academia, international politics, diplomacy, and civil society, ensuring a thorough, interdisciplinary analysis of the subjects.

Research and Analysis
As an organization working to strengthen intercultural relations, the ICD will conduct and publish relevant academic research into the academic themes outlined above. This research is conducted by the ICD staff and Advisory Board, members of our international network, and other key program stakeholders. All research material is published online and, where possible, presented at our events.