Stiftung Mercator is a private and independent foundation. Through its work it strives for a society characterized by openness to the world, solidarity and equal opportunities. In this context it concentrates on strengthening Europe; increasing the educational success of disadvantaged children and young people, especially those of migrant origin; driving forward climate change mitigation and promoting science and the humanities. Stiftung Mercator symbolizes the connection between academic expertise and practical project experience. One of Germany's leading foundations, it is active both nationally and internationally.
Stiftung Mercator has been promoting projects in and with Turkey for more than ten years. Geographic location and various political, cultural, historical, and economic ties bind Turkey and Europe together. At the same time, Turkey can act as an important bridge to the Middle East. The relationships between Turkey, the European Union, and its Member States are so important, so extensive, and so complex that they cannot be reduced to the question of Turkey's accession to the Union.
For a sustainable relationship between Germany and Turkey within Europe, familiarity and knowledge about one another is needed. Therefore, the strengthening of the academic engagement with Turkey at German universities and the exchange between academics in both countries is a central element of the Blickwechsel programme. The results of the common projects are also made public to a wider, non-academic community.
It is a central aim of Stiftung Mercator to contribute to a well-informed debate about Turkey among the German public and to foster dialogue with the Turkish society and academic community. In times when the idea of an open society comes under pressure, an intense exchange becomes all the more important. There is no alternative to encounters, conversations, and a joint search for a path into the future.