Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Turkey Provides Plenty to Think About

An interesting examination of the opinions/reflections of foreign students studying abroad in Turkey . . .

From Today's Zaman (excerpt):
It is intriguing to converse with students who spend a period of time -- generally between four and 12 months -- in Turkey, and hear their impressions. It makes a native realize the differences between him/her and “the other,” as well as the diversity of perceptions. When one tries to see things from the perspective of such students, divides along cultural, ethnic and religious differences seem pointless, as Benazir Chhotani from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign points out: “One of the most enlightening experiences about studying abroad in Turkey was realizing that even though the food, sights, customs and beliefs were drastically different than [those in] America, the people all had the same concerns, priorities and such. I was humbled to talk to my roommates and realize that we had the same fears about school and growing up, even though we lived in two different parts of the world.”

What, then, is Turkey to a foreigner who catches sights of the points Turks usually miss? The answer lies in their initial intentions in visiting the country and the final assessment after departure. And the period in between the two discloses quite a number of opinions about anything and everything related to Turks.
For full article, click here.

No comments: