Turkish Politics and Government
Since a military uprising in 1980, and a Constitution fortified in 1982, Turkey has operated under a strictly secular, parliamentary democratic republic. The state has three branches of government, like the United States- executive, legislative and judicial. They elect a President and Prime Minister. Branches of Government Executive President (chief of state: President elected by the...
Whirling Dervish Ceremony
The Mevlevi Order was founded in Konya (present-day Turkey) by Balkhi-Rumi, a 13th century poet, jurist and theologian. It is believed that Rumi was walking through the town marketplace one day when he heard the rhythmic hammering of the goldbeaters. Rumi heard the dhikr, remembrance of God, “la ilaha ilallah” or in English, “no god but Allah” and was so entranced in...
Treatment of Women in Turkey
When I first came to my parents to plant the seed of spending my next summer travelling abroad with NSLI-Y, I was admittedly nervous. My politically-aware parents had left for work that morning with a New York Times newspaper open on the kitchen table with an article about sati, the Indian ritual where recent widows are expected to self-immolate on their late husbands’ funeral pyres....
Nazar and the Evil Eye
The symbol of the eye is ubiquitous in Turkey, its influence spanning beyond its borders to the Mediterranean coasts and Indian sub-continent. Ornaments that hang in doorways, jewelry that dangles off women’s wrists, posters, clothing, travel blog sidebars, and sidewalk cement feature a little blue charm. The evil eye has a central black pupil, lighter iris, white eye border and sapphire...
My Travel History
I’ve been extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel out of the country with my family as a kid. Not to debunk the Mozart and Muzzy Music Tapes my mom had on loop for me and my brother from ages four to ten, but I think being among other cultures when I was younger has fostered an enthusiasm for knowing about my community and all the others around me. She built tolerance,...
Sites in Bursa, Turkey
As soon as I received the confirmation email that I would be travelling to Turkey this summer, my mom brought home a LonelyPlanet phrase book and this wonderful travel guide. The two books been my companions for the past weeks, always in my bags- backpack, purse, gym bag, tote, and now boast worn spines to prove it. Here is some information and sites I’ve picked up (and slightly...
International Baccalaureate tries to teach us the...
In my Theory of Knowledge class I was happily chomping on my “rabbit-food” (TOK is during our lucky IB students’ lunch block) when something sort of clicked, as it often does in that classroom. Our teacher was playing a Democracy Now radio broadcast of Manfred Max Neef, a Chilean economist that won the Right Livelihood Award for his work in poverty-stricken developing areas of...
A little insight- my journey to choosing Turkey
I first heard about the NSLI-Y summer foreign exchange program during the summer of my sophomore-junior year (hard to believe it was only nine months ago.) I was always interested in travel and language and was searching for a program that would send me to France or Quebec or Mali where I could further my knowledge in the language I’d already been studying for 4 years, French. To my dismay,...