Cooperation with Turkey
Germany and Turkey maintain a long relationship characterised by many diverse historical, economic, cultural and also personal and family links. Germany is home to around three million Turkish nationals and persons of Turkish descent. They form part of German society. Meanwhile, political relations between the two countries are occasionally strained, which does impact on social relations. Yet in times like these, it is all the more important to keep building relations and maintaining a dialogue.
For the youth work community in Germany, young people of Turkish descent represent a major target group in quantitative terms. Germany’s child and youth services experts benefit from exchanging with their counterparts in Turkey and gaining insights into their work on the ground in that they receive inspiration when it comes to interacting with young people of Turkish descent and their families.
IJAB offers various information and advisory services for organisations wishing to develop and implement their own exchanges. It is also possible to get in touch with the responsible contact persons to discuss any concerns by phone or e-mail. Their contact details are shown below.
The cooperation with Turkey goes back to an agreement on youth policy cooperation that was signed between Germany’s then Federal Ministry for Women and Youth (today: Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, BMFSFJ) and the Republic of Turkey’s Directorate-General for Youth and Sports, affiliated with the Prime Minister’s Office (today: Ministry of Youth and Sports, page in Turkish). Under the agreement, a German-Turkish expert committee meets every year, alternating between various cities in Germany and Turkey.
The expert committee reports to the youth ministries in Germany and Turkey, with IJAB providing input and organisational support. It evaluates the cooperation activities of the previous year, discusses current cooperation issues and decides on the joint implementation of certain central programmes and projects. The results of the expert committee are recorded in annual protocols. The most recent meeting of the German-Turkish expert committee took place in Nuremberg from 1 to 2 November 2022.
The expert committee is made up of representatives of the youth ministries of Germany and Turkey, of other ministries that deal with youth-related issues, and of organisations engaged in German-Turkish youth exchanges. The committee is reconstituted every three years. The following organisations are currently represented:
IJAB works regularly with partners in Germany and Turkey to organise programmes that are open to volunteer and full-time child and youth services experts from Germany. One example is a series of events for organisations planning to develop a German-Turkish exchange programme, such as partnership-building events. Also on offer are theme-specific events where German experts get together with colleagues from Turkey to discuss youth policy issues, visit institutions and organisations, and talk about the situation in the respective other country.