Below is an overview that aims to give some insight into the question: what are the main cities in Turkey that may be considered for international cultural projects? In this overview only universities in those cities which may be of use for cultural collaborations are discussed. Universities are important for the cultural sector, not only because they provide education, but also because they have venues, organize cultural events, provide volunteers, (English speaking) audiences and have an institutional memory.
The openness of municipalities towards cultural projects, the general outlook on life, and the composition of the populace of cities was also taken into consideration. Municipalities in Turkey usually do not employ staff that is particularly knowledgeable about art and culture, because they rather focus on administrative issues. However, municipalities may be interested in supporting Dutch art and culture when a clear link to voters (Dutch-Turkish re-migrants), tourism (Dutch or European tourists) and trade (Dutch companies operating in the region) can be proven. This is why such information is included in this chapter.
Information about cultural heritage in the cities discussed is omitted with an eye to limiting the length of this chapter. Also, much of the information given in the chapters dealing with specific artistic disciplines is omitted here as to avoid too much repetition.
The Republic of Turkey is divided into seven census regions: Aegean, Black Sea, Central Anatolia, Eastern Anatolia, Marmara, Mediterranean and Southeastern Anatolia. For administrative purposes these regions are subdivided into 81 provinces. Provinces usually bear the same name as their provincial capitals, also called the central district. Exceptions are the provinces of Hatay (Antakya), Kocaeli (Izmit) and Sakarya (Adapazarı). The cities in this chapter are arranged by region because cities in the same region often share similar climatic and cultural traits. The focus on regions may also be useful because of existing regional development programs (Black Sea, Thracian) relevant for international collaborations.