Hannover explores the possibility of closer cooperation with Konya

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Lower Saxony’s state capital Hannover and Turkish city Konya are seeking to intensify existing contacts and are now exploring the possibility of closer cooperation within the framework of a city partnership or twinning arrangement.

After signing the declaration of intent: Stefan Schostok and Tahir Akyürek

Lord Mayor Stefan Schostok and his counterpart in Konya, Tahir Akyürek, agreed on this on Tuesday, 6 May 2014 by way of a corresponding declaration of intent. This week Mr Schostok is accompanying Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister Stephan Weil as member of a delegation on the latter’s visit to Turkey. The Lord Mayor met with Konya city representatives on 6 May in Konya.

A few months ago, Hannover’s City Council commissioned the administration with the development of a concept for the preparation of city partnerships/twinning arrangements with the Turkish cities of Konya and Diyarbakir. The objective is to intensify and consolidate the diverse contacts already existing between Hannover and the two cities in the form of city partnerships or twinning arrangements.  

"We are delighted that Konya already decided last autumn to intensify its cooperation with Hannover. The two cities have a lot in common”, said Mr. Schostok, adding that the two cities see themselves as being in the tradition of great thinkers. “Life in Konya is characterized by the work of the great Islamic philosopher Mevlana Rumi. In Hannover we try to conserve the heritage of Gottfried-Wilhelm Leibniz.” Konya and Hannover are both vibrant centres of commerce and value the innovative power of science, he said. The schedule also included a visit by the Lord Mayor to Mevlana University which has a cooperational arrangement with the Leibniz University in Hannover.

Football club Hannover 96 interested in a partnership

Stefan Schostok and Tahir Akyürek

"Last not least, our two cities have a common passion as regards the world’s greatest pastime, namely football. I am pleased that Hannover 96 is highly interested in a partnership with Konyaspor”, said Mr. Schostok. On behalf of Hannover 96 president Martin Kind the Lord Mayor presented a gift basket of fan articles from the city’s Bundesliga club.

Lord Mayor Schostok emphasized the fact that there are around 25,700 people in his city with a Turkish passport who thus make up the biggest group of immigrants among the 141,000 people in Hannover with foreign or dual citizenship. In Hannover there are already a large number of very active German-Turkish networks. Companies, universities, colleges and various associations have concluded cooperation arrangements with Turkish cities, facilities and institutions and initiated projects, in particular with Konya and Diyarbakir as well. "It would be a very good idea to intensify these cooperational activities since both sides can benefit from them”, emphasized Mr Schostok.

In the months ahead it is planned to define and concretize common spheres of cooperation between Hannover and Konya, with the following being particularly suitable:

  • Business and trade fairs
  • Universities and science
  • Culture and sport
  • Urban development and administrative exchange
  • Mobility and climate protection

Parallel to the Konya-related activity a concept for a cooperation arrangement with Hannover is also being worked upon with Diyarbakir, the latter having likewise expressed itself its interest in a partnership with Lower Saxony’s state capital.  In this case too there are plans for a visit by the Lord Mayor, with dates to be fixed in the near future. As Mr. Schostok explained, the objective is to put a joint concept for cooperation with the two Turkish cities to the respective City Council bodies for consultation and decisions.