Turkey: At the Crossroads

Posted on January 2nd, 2012 by

Hello my fellow Turkey-travelers and those of you following our adventure!

Our January 2012 course, Turkey: At the Crossroads of West, East, North, and South, starts tomorrow! A group of fifteen Gusties (with 1 instructor and 1 back-up instructor) will be spending one week on campus and two weeks in Istanbul, Turkey learning about Turkish history and exploring the social, economic, political, and cultural dynamics in contemporary Turkey and Turkey’s place in the region. I was born and grew up in Turkey and am super-excited to take a group of Gusties to my home country for a study abroad experience! While on campus, we start with a political history of the Turkish Republic and focus on the key debates in contemporary Turkey. The off-campus program in Istanbul focuses on “recovering” Turkey’s past and “discovering” its future through visits to key archeological sites, ancient cisterns, monuments, and other architecture and art forms that highlight the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires, and modern Turkey. Istanbul, recently chosen as the European Capital of Culture for 2010 and selected for 2010 Toronto Film Festival’s City to City program, is the home of the art and architecture of the three main empires, and the remnants of these civilizations still coexist. Here are some links to places we will visit in Istanbul:

Our hotel is in the Sultanahmet District in Istanbul. So our program will start with a visit to Sultan Ahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque) and Hagia Sophia, that was built as a church, turned into a mosque and then a museum.

We’ll visit the Topkapi Palace, the palace of the Ottoman Sultans, as well as  Dolmabahce Palace, and Beylerbeyi Palace. For an extraordinary “shopping” experience, we’ll go to the Grand Bazaar (Kapalicarsi), one of the largest covered markets in the world.

Our on-site visit also includes a two-day trip to Efes (Ephesus), the best-preserved Roman city on the Aegean Sea and the home of the House of the Virgin Mary as well as the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

You’ll hear all about our daily activities in Turkey in the future. Students will update this blog daily over the next several weeks, so stay tuned!





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