The Centre for Applied Turkey Studies (CATS) is a joint initiative of Stiftung Mercator and the German Federal Foreign Office. It is based on the premise that sustainable relations with Turkey are of utmost importance for the European Union and, in particular, Germany. Dialogue and cooperation with Turkey require mutual understanding and knowledge. With their support of CATS, the funders aim to promote independent analysis of political and social developments in Turkey as well as dynamics in Turkey-EU relations; to establish a network of leading think tanks in Europe; and to generate hands-on policy recommendations that contribute to coherent European policies towards, as well as sustainable relations with, Turkey.

Stiftung Mercator is a private and independent foundation. Through its work, it strives for a society that is characterised by openness to the world, solidarity, and equal opportunities. In this context, it concentrates on strengthening Europe; increasing the educational success of disadvantaged children and young people, especially those of migrant origin; improving the quality and impact of cultural education; driving forward climate change mitigation; and promoting science and the humanities. Stiftung Mercator symbolises the connection between academic expertise and practical project experience.