Turkey: Secular Democracy, Gateway to the East
Students open dialogue with emerging leaders
NEW YORK, August 22nd, 2011—For the second time in as many years, students of The King’s College spent three weeks traveling around the world to several cities in Turkey. The trip is just one in a larger program at King’s called International Ventures, which sends students around the world to engage in the competitive marketplace of ideas.
On May 15th, the team of 11 students departed John F. Kennedy Airport accompanied by Brian Brenberg, assistant professor of economics, and two alumni. A nine-hour flight took them to their first stop: Istanbul.
The trip lasted three weeks and pushed students physically, mentally, and emotionally. Students spent their time investigating the awe-inspiring architecture of Istanbul, experiencing Turkish culture, and forming relationships with students at Bogazici University (the Turkish equivalent of Harvard). King’s senior Stephanie Brewster couldn’t point to any single part of the trip as her favorite, but said, “My favorite experiences were with the people we met in Turkey. Whether it was spending time with the Bilkent University students at a nice dinner near Ankara Castle, in Gençlik Park near our hotel, or being invited to Abdullah's house for a home-cooked meal with his family, it was the people who made this trip special for me.”
King’s students on the Venture also had an opportunity to interact with public officials, academics, and other students. Professor Brenberg said, “I was incredibly impressed by our students. On unfamiliar college campuses they sought out relationships with Turkish students. In meetings with academics, businessmen, and political figures they presented ideas with poise and humility.”
King’s senior Josiah Peterson explained the significance of the Turkey venture saying, “King's seeks to influence ‘strategic institutions,’ and they don't make them much more strategic than Turkey. Turkey is the gateway between the East and the West, a functioning secular Islamic democracy, and a growing economic powerhouse. Each International Venture gets King's students access to the academics, businessmen, politicians, and current and future leaders of this emerging country.”
International Ventures are central to the vision of The King’s College. Professor Brenberg said that the Ventures are important because “as a college, we want to prepare students to take ideas into influential environments. The Turkey Venture, along with the East Africa, Paris, and China Ventures, represents the international extension of our vision. And in the case of Turkey, we're seeing the vision become reality as students exchange ideas with present and future leaders.”
The King’s College educates students in the ideas upon which nations rise and fall. With a focused curriculum in the liberal arts tradition, students are prepared to help shape, and eventually to lead, the institutions of government, civil society, media, law, business, education, the arts, and the church. King’s is a Christian college located in the Empire State Building in New York City.
For more information about The King's College please contact: