Academics’ Intercultural Trip to Turkey

Sun, 22 Jul 2007 12:00 in Intercultural Exploration Trips
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Where: Turkey

An intercultural exploration of Turkey, Turkish culture and history. Delegates not only visit popular historic and touristic sites, but do so in comfort and with the lead of experienced guides. What is more, this is not a tour of simply sites and museums but one of people and culture. Therefore, the tour is specifically tailored to maximise such exposure. One way this is achieved is by hosting the group for dinner at a Turkish family’s home; another way is by arranging meetings with locals and students. Each trip also includes meetings with those of the same or related field to the visiting delegates to help facilitate partnerships through which lasting friendships and meaningful dialogue can be achieved. Ample time for shopping and dining is also provided.

Objective

  • To project a positive image and understanding of Britain in Turkey.
  • To develop links with key Turkish educational, media and voluntary sector organisations.
  • To develop a better understanding of 'Turkish Muslimness' and civil society.

"Our visit to Turkey included a number of visits to schools. Although the Turkish students had started their summer holidays it was clear from the classrooms, corridors, dormitories and welcomes that the ethos of each of the schools embraced the promotion of inter-faith and inter-cultural understanding and friendship, as well as the celebration of student success. Photographs, certificates of achievement in extra-curricular and community engagement activities sat within and alongside the cabinets of trophies and medals from mathematics and science Olympics, records of progression to University and N.A.S.A. scholarships - all equally valued and celebrated.

Genuine celebration of diverse activities and achievements demands an understanding and acceptance of diversity itself. Engagement in dialogue, central to the values of our hosts from the Gulen movement, is surely a good starting point! Our group was also privileged to participate in such dialogue; listening to and speaking with representatives from different faiths and cultures, educationalists, government officers and the families of our generous hosts. As Leeds Met's work with schools and school communities continues to diversify, we look forward to bringing home and integrating our experiences from Turkey into the work we do."

Jill Adam

Carnegie Faculty of Sport & Education

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