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TALKING TURKEY – WHERE EAST MEETS WEST
Must they choose?
Turkey - Istanbul and Cappadocia
November 2-13, 2013 (11 nights)
Birds without Wings by Louis De Bernières
Istanbul by Orhan Pamuk
Turkey: What Everyone Needs to Know by Andrew Finkel (background reading)
We have become fascinated with the world of the East – the Muslim world. We know how little we know, which, regrettably, has not prevented us from forming strong impressions.
Turkey is singular in the Muslim world as a country that is situated partly in Europe and partly in Asia. It is both modern and secular in ways that seem familiar to us. It is also exotic, foreign, and strange and, for reasons we little understand, seems to be choosing to become less Western, even as it becomes both more progressive in some ways and more traditional in others.
During this in depth trip to Turkey, we will use our visits, our readings and our encounters with Turkish citizens to help us better understand this country of seeming contractions, how it became what it is today, and where it may be heading.
We have chosen to focus on two contrasting highlights – Istanbul and Cappadocia.
Istanbul is one of the world’s truly great cities, a grand mosaic of East and West, ancient and modern, the only city built on two continents. Straddling the Bosphorus with its skyline studded with domes and minarets, Istanbul hums as Turkey's cultural heart. Its history tracks back from Byzantium to Constantinople to its place at the head of the Ottoman Empire. It offers Roman aqueducts, Byzantine churches, monuments, museums, great mosques lifting their minarets to the sky, but best of all, it delights visitors with the friendly, delicious activity of its streets.
The Turkish region of Cappadocia boasts one of Europe's most dramatic landscapes. Natural cone formations, made from volcanic eruptions millions of years ago and smoothed over time by wind and rain are known as fairy chimneys. As early as the third century, those chimneys became a hiding place for early Christians who fled persecution from the Romans, and then later from raiding Muslims. We will visit their sophisticated caves and labyrinthine communities.
Louis De Bernières’ novel Birds without Wings tells the story of how modern secular Turkey was forged out of the First World War and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Orhan Pamuk’s Istanbul presents a breathtaking portrait of a city, an elegy for a dead civilization and a meditation on life's complicated intimacies. Recently released Turkey: What Everyone Needs to Know by Andrew Finkel, long-time resident of Istanbul will provide essential background.
Travellers may arrange pre-and post extensions to other parts of Turkey.
Click here to view itinerary
4-star heritage properties
Gary Schoepfel is a seasoned discussion leader with the Great Books Foundation, Harrison Middleton University, Classical Pursuits and beyond.
Approx. USD $4795 per person based on double occupancy
Fee includes books, accommodation based on double occupancy, domestic flights, two meals a day, discussions, tours, excursions and admissions.