A Turkish Week – Rector Prof. Dr. Axel Freimuth Headed a Delegation Visit to Ankara and Istanbul
see also ► international.uni-koeln.de/turkey.html
From Sunday, 26 April 2015, to Friday, 1st of May 2015, a delegation headed by Rector Prof. Axel Freimuth traveled to Turkey and visited a number of prestigious and renown Universities in Ankara and Istanbul, concluding several Exchange Agreements.
Middle-East Technical University
On Monday, 27 April 2015, the first University on the agenda was Middle-East Technical University, one of Turkey’s finest Higher Education Institutes with an all-English course program. Rector Freimuth signed a new Exchange Agreement with METU’s President Prof. Acar and celebrated the publication of a new reader co-authored by scholars from METU and UoC’s Prof. Wolfgang Wessels. Political Science will certainly continue to be at the centre of cooperation between METU and UoC. We also visited METU’s impressive Technopark, where science meets entrepreneurship.
Though Rector Prof. Erkan Ibis wasn’t in town, we were welcomed by Vice Rector Prof. Elmali, who had assembled a huge number of scholars from various faculties in order to allow for in depth discussions of future projects.The finally signed Cooperation Agreement started with a broad range of projects and plans!
Before leaving, Rector Freimuth had to inscribe into the Golden Book of Ankara University and did so – of course citing Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s “West-Eastern Divan”.
Reception by German Ambassador to Turkey
In the afternoon the delegation from Colgne was received by H.E. Eberhard Pohl, German Ambassador to Turkey.
Since we arrived a little early in Ankara’s lively centre, this was a good opportunity to do some sight-seeing: This is Kocatepe Mosque, said to be one of the largest Mosques in the Middle East.
Ambassador Pohl gave us some insights into the current political situation in Turkey and in particular into the Turkish policies with view to higher education and science.
Tuesday, 28 April 2015, started with a visit at Gazi University. Following a warm welcome by Rector Prof. Büyükberber, the delegation met representatives from various faculties. In particular the Medical Faculty is already cooperating with UoC’s department of pathology, mainly in the field of Oral pathology.
After lunch, the delegation hurried to Hacettepe University, where Rector Prof. Tuncer welcomed the guests from Cologne and signed a new Exchange Agreement with UoC’s Rector Prof. Freimuth. So far, UoC and Hacettepe U are cooperating in the field of Molecular Biology, but the new Agreement will certainly open up to other fields and disciplines as well.
Our tight schedule forced us to a precipitant departure: We left Ankara in the early evening for Istanbul, where we arrived just in time for a late evening walk through the centre – this is Galatatower.
Our hotel was located right in the touristic heart of Istanbul, next to the famous Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. Early birds were able to get a glimpse the next morning (29 April 2015), though we had to leave already by 8:30 am: Traffic in Istanbul is imponderable and you better set off early, if you have to cross the city.
The Turkish-German University
The Turkish-German University in Beykoz, a quarter just at the end of Istanbul, requested, indeed, to cross the city.
TDU is a very young University – just 5 years old – and still “in the making”. Buildings are provisional, but planning is advanced: within five years TDU will host 5000 students within five faculties. Each faculty has as German “sponsor”; for the Faculty of Economics and Administration this sponsor is the University of Cologne in person of Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wessels. Given the close relation, First Mayor of Cologne Jürgen Roters joined the delegation and assisted the signing ceremony of a general Exchange Agreement with Rector Prof. Akkanat and Rector Prof. Freimuth.
Istanbul University, Sabanci University, Orient Institute
First Mayor Jürgen Roters was also with us in the afternoon, when we visited Istanbul University, the eldest University in Turkey – founded in 1453, the year of the Fall of Constantinople, as it is proudly written on the University’s main entrance.
While UoC’s Rector Prof. Freimuth with one half of the delegation met Istanbul University’s Rector Prof. Ak, UoC’s Vice Rector Prof. Gersmann headed the other half and visited the private Sabanci University and its Vice President Sondan Durukanoğlu Feyiz.
The delegation reunited again in the evening, when we were received by Prof. Raoul Motika, director of the Orient Institute, a German research institute in the heart of Istanbul – and with a marvelous terrace on the Bosporus!
Bilgi University & Bogazici University
The next day, Thursday, 30 April 2015, the delegation split up again: the group headed by Vice Rector Prof. Gersmann went to private Bilgi University, with which UoC runs a double degree program in Law. The other group, led by Rector Prof. Freimuth, had appointment at the small, but fine public Bogazici University. Originally an American college, Bogazici University was passed over to the Turkish state in 1971, but preserved its Anglo-American profile: courses are in English and “liberal arts” aka humanities are particularly strong – among other strong research fields, covering also natural sciences. Hence, UoC’s Rector Prof. Freimuth was pleased to sign an Exchange Agreement with Bogazici U’s Rector Prof. Barbarosoglu.
Again with the entire delegation, the last University to be visited was Bahcesehir University, a private foundation, nicely located at the shores of the Bosporus. As we first had talks with Bahcesehir’s Faculty of Media Design at the Galata Campus, we were shipped by a University-owned boat to Beskitas Campus a little up the Bosporus. Rector Freimuth and the delegation were, of course, delighted by this wonderful opportunity.
BAU hosted a delegation, the University of Cologne older than 600 years. With its Rector Prof Axel Freimuth@BAUKOLN pic.twitter.com/5koxX5EPTX
— ELIF CEPNI (@elif_cepni) May 4, 2015
Bahcesehir University proved a very hospitable Institution, but also a very ambitious one, eager to cooperate with UoC in various field – namely in Media Science and Media Design, in Educational Sciences and in Law. Enver Yücel, Founder and Chairman of Bahcesehirs Board of Trustees, and President Prof. Senay Yalcin both engaged in vivacious discussions with Rector Prof. Freimuth on perspectives and projects after signing a new Exchange Agreement between UoC and BAU. This is certainly the beginning of an active partnership.
— feyza doyran (@feyza_doyran) April 30, 2015
Friday, 1st of May, the delegation returned to Cologne after a busy, but very satisfying and successful Turkish week.
Dr. Johannes Müller