Turkey : Country at the Crossroads – Ancient Civilization to Modern Influence
Ancient ruins, the Ottoman Empire and Ataturk’s great social experiment foreshadow the importance of Turkey’s modern role as a bridge between East and West. Working with cultural anthropologists, learning from archeologists, meeting with political scientists and living with rural families gives you insight into how Turkey views the world inside and beyond its borders. Through music, art, religion and geopolitics, learn about Turkish civilization past, present and future.
After a long flight from the States, you and fellow Corps members hit the ground running in Istanbul. Attend a whirling dervish ceremony, visit Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque and St. Sophia and learn about Turkish history, politics, demographics and geopolitics from educators and anthropologists. Next, travel to historic Izmir to trace Turkey’s evolution from ancient civilization to it’s critical modern day role as a bridge between East and West. Work with archeologists at an excavation site, meet with anthropologists from Ege University and dive into Turkish history. Live with a family in a rural village where you become part of local life in central Anatolia. Help in the fields, shop in local markets, practice survival Turkish language skills while cooking with your host mother and play backgammon with village elders. Head north to the Cappadocia region to explore ancient underground cities, hike through the moonscape Devrent Valley and discover one of the most well preserved regions of ancient Turkey before returning to Istanbul at the end of the program.
Orientation in Istanbul
- Interview shopkeepers in the Grand Bazaar.
- Attend an art workshop at a Turkish cultural foundation.
- Learn about ethnic groups and Turkey’s neighbors from political scientists.
- Practice Survival Turkish language skills in Sultanahmed Square.
- Visit Topkapi Palace, St. Sophia and the Blue Mosque.
The Seminar in Izmir
- Develop an understanding of the strategic and diplomatic importance of Turkey in the modern world through history, geography and anthropology.
- Explore Izmir.
- Work with anthropologists from Ege University.
- Excavate ruins with archeologists.
- Visit Ephesus and the ancient city of Pergamon.
Family and Community Stay
- Live with a rural host family.
- Participate in a community service project.
- Develop your Turkish language skills over meals of donor kebabs and dolma.
- Help your host father in the fields.
- Learn traditional dances.
Field Exploration and Journey’s End
- Spend a few days in the historic Cappadocia region.
- Hike through the moonscape Devrent Valley.
- Meet with potters in Ottoman era buildings in the town of Avanos.
- Visit the honeycombed underground city of Kayamkli.
- Return to Istanbul for a final meal and discussion about re-entry before the journey home.
Program: Turkey – Country at the Crossroads
Start/End: New York’s JFK International Airport
Dates: Program not running Summer 2017