Sustainable German and European relations with Turkey are crucial when it comes to ensuring that Europe is capable of action. Relations between Turkey and the European Union and its member states are so important, so extensive and so complex that they cannot be reduced to the question of Turkish accession to the EU. This is something of which we in Germany are very conscious due to the fact that more than three million people of Turkish origin live among us. We believe that it is essential for our foundation to better understand Turkey, to arrange encounters with Turkish society and to jointly search for solutions to key questions. Turkey and Europe are connected by their geographic position and by a wide range of political, cultural, historical and economic ties. At the same time, Turkey can play a vital bridging role in the Middle East. Our objective is intensive exchange with that part of Turkish society which is committed to the European idea. Such an exchange is particularly important at times when the notion of an open society is under pressure. We believe in the impact of this exchange. There is no alternative to personal encounters, discussions and a joint search for the right path to the future.