Tel Aviv University (TAU) renewed its academic relations with Turkey this week following the historic summit meeting held in March between Israeli President Yitzhak Herzog and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
TAU formed ties with three of Turkey’s leading universities; Koç, Özyeğin, and Sabancı, after an agreement to advance the Academic Bridge initiative was reached between TAU president Prof. Ariel Porat and the heads of the three Turkish universities during a meeting held in Istanbul last week. The initiative is built on a series of various academic collaborations such as student and faculty exchange programs and joint research initiatives.
The joint research projects are expected to address a wide range of regionally important matters including climate change, entrepreneurship, archaeology, as well the complex geopolitical situation in the Middle East.
The meeting was also joined by TAU International’s VP Prof. Milette Shamir and resource development VP Amos Elad, Israel’s consul general in Istanbul Udi Eitam, leaders of the Jewish community in Turkey including the chairman of the Jewish community Yitzhak Ibrahim Zada, as well as several other Turkish academics, entrepreneurs, and industrialists.
“The purpose of the initiative is to promote academic research in both countries,” emphasized Prof. Porat. “Every year TAU welcomes thousands of Moslem and Christian students from Israel and around the world, and we will be delighted to extend this collaboration to leading universities in Turkey as well. Academia is a bridge between nations, and a key to economic and social growth everywhere.”
“I sincerely hope that after years of little contact between Israeli and Turkish institutions, our visit heralds a new era,” said Prof. Shamir. “Israel and Turkey are powerfully connected by a rich history, a range of both political and economic interests, and similar challenges in areas such as climate, health, and technology. Thus, the academic bridge we are building has great potential.”