Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Okay, looks like the two have found a way to come to an agreement on Erdoğan's proposal for Turkish schools in Germany. Coming to an agreement actually wasn't that difficult since Erdoğan wasn't at all specific when he first brought up the idea, which likely gave him a lot of leeway to come up with a proposal that both of them could agree on.
According to Deutsche Welle, Merkel has given a conditional green light to the idea after being opposed to it before. The schools would be similar to German schools abroad (and there are German schools in Turkey and elsewhere - here's the one in Seoul), and they "need to have integration into the country in which they are located as a precondition...though this integration does not mean assimilation." It seems that Merkel's only real concern with the schools is that they don't hinder learning German and adjusting to German society for the 3 million Turks that live there, and if that issue is taken care of then no problem.
According to the article, there is also a proposal for a Turkish-German University to be set up in Istanbul that they support, which is waiting on support from the Turkish parliament. According to the German Wikipedia, it would be conducted in either Turkish or German, would have four faculties (law, economic/cultural/social sciences, natural sciences and engineering) and a degree from the university would be recognized both in Turkey and Germany. Not bad at all.