Turkey, Germany prepare for long-awaited university in Istanbul

The Turkish and German governments are moving ahead with plans to realize a long-awaited joint university project. The details will be discussed during PM Erdoğan's meeting with Chancellor Merkel next month, which will be followed by German President Christian Wulff’s upcoming visit to Turkey to lay the foundation for the university alongside counterpart Abdullah Gül.

Turkey and Germany are moving fast with plans to inaugurate a long-awaited Turkish-German university expected to open its doors for its first students next year.

“Everything is ready. We are just waiting for the rector of the university to be nominated and then appointed by the [Turkish] president,” well-placed sources told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Thursday.

The university will be discussed during Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to Germany on Oct. 8-9. Erdoğan will speak with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and, following that meeting, Turkish President Abdullah Gül and German counterpart Christian Wulff are expected to break ground for the university, it has been learned.

Turkey’s Higher Education Board, or YÖK, met Thursday under the leadership of Professor Yusuf Ziya Özcan to evaluate rector candidates for the university. Three candidates are expected to be submitted for the consideration of Gül, who will then appoint one as rector.

Diplomatic sources said the university, which does not yet have an official name, could offer language courses this year in a provisional building, as the new building’s construction starts from scratch next month. There are several options for the provisional building, noted the sources, while it is understood the location will be one of the topics of the Erdoğan-Merkel meeting.

Asked if the German government had any hesitations due to the long delay in the university’s establishment, the sources said, “No,” adding that Germany was pushing forward together with the Turkish government.

“The German consortium is ready. There is no element of hesitation at all,” they noted.

The university project dates back to the 1990s but plans were first made public in September 2006, when Gül was foreign minister.

The Turkish-German university will follow the rules and regulations of Turkish state universities but will enjoy the advantages of being a Turkish-German venture.

The university was originally intended to be a foundation, namely a private university, but the plans were not realized due to a number of reasons, including insufficient financial resources.

Professors from Germany’s best universities are expected to contribute to the project.

The Turkish-German university is an Ernst Reuter initiative launched to promote understanding and cooperation between the two peoples.

Like a number of other victims of Nazi persecution, Reuter found a safe haven in Turkey in the 1930s and 40s, spending more than 14 years in exile from his homeland. He later became the mayor of Berlin in the young Federal Republic of Germany. Reuter's son, who grew up in Ankara and speaks Turkish fluently, is one of the leading supporters of the joint initiative.

The 'Ernst-Reuter-Initiative' is just another subterfuge for pushing immigration from turkey into Germany.

...a bilateral project set up by the German and Turkish Foreign ministers in 2006, which aims to foster intercultural dialogue between Germany and Turkey. The Ernst Reuter Initiative, which is also a partner to the ICD’s ‘Germany Meets Turkey’ forum, is named after a Social Democrat and Former Mercedes CEO who fled to Turkey to escape Nazi persecution: a reference to an aspect of the historical German-Turkish relationship which is often overlooked. The initiative fosters intercultural dialogue - particularly in the areas of academia and media - with the intention of changing people’s perceptions and preconceptions of both cultures through education.
Here is a link to the 'Germany Meets Turkey' forum which clearly outlines their plans: