• Exhibition by young Syrian refugees who attended a photography course at the training center Kırıkhan

  • Mediation Training for employees of non-governmental organisations that work with Syrian refugees

  • German course in a Turkish adult education centre (HEM) in Ankara

  • Education and encounter centre for Syrian refugees and the local population in the southern Turkish Kırıkhan

The long-standing President of the German Adult Education Association, Prof. Dr. Rita Süssmuth, signed a framework agreement on cooperation with the Turkish Ministry of Education in April 2011, which formed the starting point and basis for future work. In this agreement, a total of nine key areas of cooperation are identified, including the intensification of knowledge transfer and the promotion of intercultural and inter-religious dialogue between the Turkish public elementary education facilities (Halk Eğitim Merkezleri – HEMS) and German adult education centres (Volkshochschulen). DVV International has carried out adult education projects in Turkey since November 2011, and from 2012 assumed the task of being responsible for some of these areas of cooperation.

Main focus of work

Exchange between German and Turkish adult education institutions: DVV International conducts various joint activities with German adult education centres, the Ministry of National Education of the Republic of Turkey and its – subordinate – circa 1,000 Turkish HEMS. Key areas of cooperation are the implementation of joint conferences on current issues of adult education, learning festivals, mutual assistance in the area of remedial school-leaving certificates and second-chance offers as well as the promotion of cultural education.

Offers for Syrian refugees: Since 2013, DVV International has supported Syrian refugees in southern Turkey. From special funds from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), two educational and community centres were set up in the Hatay region for Syrian refugees and the indigenous population. The centres offer career counselling, self-help services, courses in the Turkish language, offers for intercultural exchange, computer classes, tutoring for students, preschool services, psycho-social counselling services and leisure activities.


The main partner in Turkey is the Department of Lifelong Learning of the Ministry of National Education. Other partners are the public HEMS, which exist in all the cities and districts of Turkey. They are a key source for non-formal education in Turkey and are under the Ministry of National Education. All social groups are targeted by HEMS; in many places there are special offers for disadvantaged groups such as illiterates, people with educational deficits or low-skilled workers. In the implementation of programmes for Syrian refugees, DVV International is working with the civil society organisation YUVA (Yetişkin Eğitimi Uygulama ve Araştırma – adult education practice and research).

Contact in Caucasus and Turkey

DVV International
Regional Office for Caucasus and Turkey
Kipshidze Street 20, Apt.3
Tbilisi 0179

Regional Director
Caucasus and Turkey:
Matthias Klingenberg

Contact in Germany

Senior Desk Officer
Caucasus and Turkey:
Maja Avramovska

More information