Monday, December 03, 2007

Turkish-Dutch cooperation: The Hague / Ankara

Logo of the Turkey institute in the Hague, the Netherlands.

Last week, Myrthe send me a press release about the opening of the Turkey Institute the Netherlands in The Hague on November 27, 2007. Its an independent institute with one goal: to give the citizens in the Netherlands on a scientifically way, information about Turkey. One of the initiative takers is Prof. Dr. Erik-Jan Zürcher, who is Professor Middle East languages at the oldest university of the Netherlands:
the University Leiden. Its also one of the most well know universities of the Holland (still the same country), together with University of Utrecht (where he was Prof. Turkish languages and Culture until 2006, and which Universitty ranks worldwide no. 40) and Erasmus University Rotterdam.

The aim of this institute is providing knowledge about Turkey, through discussion platforms such as student associations, media, publishing companies, education centre's etc.
The TI is sponsored by Dutch multinationals such as Unilever (Dutch/British), KLM (with Air France), Fortis (Dutch/Belgium), Eureko (Dutch, but in Turkey with Garanti sigorta), TNT, ING (Oyak Bank), Aegon, Akzo Nobel etc.
According to Prof. Zurcher, there is still misunderstandings between the citizens of both the Netherlands and Turkey. And since there is a huge demand for knowledge about Turkey, with the help of sponsors and the city council of The Hague, this institute could be established. Its unique in Europe and the USA.
Last year, on the 21th of December 2006 the Dutch Minister for Education opened the Netherlands Institute for Higher education in Ankara. This project is established to help Turkish students with a scholar ships, intern ships in the Netherlands, and establishing relations between Higher Eduction institutes in Turkey and the Netherlands. And to improve relations between the Dutch Institutes in Rabat (NIMAR), Cairo (NVIC), Damascus (NIASD), Ankara en Istanbul (NIT). During a meeting earlier this year in Cairo the decision was made to invite the Managing Directors of the Dutch Institutes in Athens (NIA), Rome (NIR) en Florence (IUOART) for a more intense and direct collaboration.

Staff and employees of Niha in Ankara.
All these projects, programs, institutions are funded by the Dutch, to improve bilateral relations with Turkey. Its a pity that some people only are focused and on how 'undemocratic and racist the Netherlands is'.
As some Turkish friends in the Netherlands are saying all the time: Turkish hospitality is great but their pride is 3 times that big: they will never admit that they need the help of other countries. Even they accuse the Dutch Government for not doing enough for the Turkish people in the Netherlands.
Finally, please find the Niha conference from January the 13th until January the 16th 2008 here. Participants are for example the Rectors of the most important universities such as:
Ali Doğramacı, Rector of Bilkent University, Attila Askar, Rector of Koç University
Ural Akbulut, Rector of Middle East Technical University, together with Aybar Ertepınar, vice-president of the Turkish Higher Education Board YÖK) and Tarık Çelik, vice-president of the Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA). And many others:
The program: here.
One important point here: vocational training in the Western world means something different than vocational training and education in Turkey, which is mainly based upon religion.

The effects of War and Mother is talking.

The post below, link, is such a powerful one, that I really like to share it here.
It reminds me about the movie 'Apocalypse Now'.
The difference only here is that you don't brag about killing people. Ans this is a real story.
You can read it here. Its called 'Like mother, like son'.

Day Opening - December 3

Geisha, Japan.