Twin towns projects between German and Turkish cities called off

Projects under twin town agreements between German and Turkish cities are called off after recent escalation of political tensions between Ankara and Berlin.

Several towns in Turkey and Germany has signed twin town agreements in the last two decades. Dozens of municipalities in Germany are supporting several important projects in Turkey in accordance with these agreements.

Last week spokesperson for municipality of Dortmund, Michael Meinders announced that they will stop the projects with the Turkish city of Trabzon, Dortmund’s twin town since 2014.

A similar statement was also issued by the municipality of Duisburg. Referring to recent tensions with Turkish government, Duisburg city administration’s spokesperson Jörn Esser said that the current situation makes it "impossible to even reach the partners in Antep", which put a halt to all common projects and plans with the municipality of Antep. Duisburg and Antep had signed twin town agreement in 2005.


The administration of German city Oberhausen stopped all projects with the municipality of Mersin. Municipality of Oberhausen called off a project which involved 150 German youths’ visit the Turkish city.

The city council of German city of Hamm also called off a project, involving a visit to Turkish city of Afyon. 46 Germans were planning to visit the city as a part of an exchange programme.


After German municipalities’ decisions to call off projects with Turkish counterparts, Cologne’s mayor Henriett Reker said "We will not punish whole of Istanbul because of Erdoğan. We won't halt our projects with Istanbul."

Cologne is twin town with Istanbul since 1997, one of the oldest of its kind. Cologne supports several projects in Istanbul.

The mayor of Cologne noted that half of Istanbul voted 'NO' against Erdoğan on the referendum of April 16, and stressed that the twin town projects have not been led together with Erdoğan, but with the city of Istanbul.