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Orangeturk Issue 4

Spring 2014

Turkish Student Association @ Syracuse University

T h e R o l e o f M e d i a i n Pe a c e b u i l d i n g On October 29th, 2013, the Turkish Student Association and Turkish Cultural Center hosted the 8th Annual Friendship Dinner in the expansive yet elegant Goldstein Auditorium in the Schine Student Center at Syracuse University. Some one hundred fifty guests attended the event, chatting over a delicious Turkish meal, topped off with select savory sweets such as baklava and Turkish tea. Guests from all walks of life, from scholars to Prof. Branham addresses her keynote speech to the audience. local elected officials, attended the event and proved that in a world fraught with chaos and conflict, moments of intimate and open dialogue can still exist and can serve to heal society’s wounds. In keeping with this tradition of building bridges, of promoting intercultural dialogue and peace, and of engaging all sectors of society and calling all individuals to a higher standard to rise above the din of violence, the night’s theme was “The Role of Media in Peace Building”. Professor Lorraine Branham, Dean of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, delivered the keynote address of the evening, focusing on the role of journalists in international peace processes. Dean Branham stated that though journalists cannot be active agents in peace building processes, due to their duty to remain objective and impartial in their reports, the media in general can act as a powerful tool to open dialogue, to break socially accepted barriers and to raise important questions in the international arena. See Friendship - Page 3

Major Upcoming Events The dates, times and places for the events are subject to change. Please join us on OrgSync to keep updated..

In this issue: Turkish Table, Coffee&Tea and Movie Nights


Turkish Conversation Partner Program


World Cultures on 2 Quad Dr. Morgan Lecture 3

Friendship Dinner


Istanbul, the Champions!


TSA Welcome Picnic


Whitewater Rafting 3

General Body Meeting Wednesday, Jan 22nd, 2014, 5:00 pm - Noble Room Lecture - Dr. Ermin Sinanovic Monday, Mar 31st, 2014, 5:00 pm - Maxwell Auditorium National Sovereignty and Children’s Day & TSA Annual Election Tuesday April 22nd, 2014, 5:00 pm - Noble Room Graduation Picnic Sunday, May 11th, 2014, 3:00 pm - Jamesville Beach Park

Konya & Celaleddin 4 Rumi (Mevlana)

Support for Ideas

in mind

Inequality in Education System On November 12, 2013, as part of the Interdisciplinary Lecture Series, TSA organized a lecture entitled “Inequality, Opportunity, and Proposals for Education Reform” by Professor Stephen L. Morgan. Dr. Morgan is a Professor of Social Sciences at Cornell University and an Associate Director of the Cornell Population Center. The event was co-sponsored by Syracuse University Student Association, Graduate Student Organization, and the Maxwell School Department of Sociology. See Dr. Morgan - Page 3

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Tu r k i s h C o n ve r s a t i o n Pa r t n e r P r o g r a m Do you want to learn basic Turkish in a friendly one-on-one setting? Want to learn about Turkish culture? Are you planning to go SU Abroad Istanbul? Are you taking Turkish classes? Here is an opportunity for you: “Turkish Conversation Partner Program” for everybody from beginners to advanced Turkish speakers. Participants of the academic year 2013/2014 will be presented a “Participation Certificate” at the end of the Spring Semester. Applications are open through forms/77938

Applications are open through

TSA kicked off the “Turkish Conversation Partner Program” in the Fall of 2012, with the help of oversight by the Turkish Language Program at the Department of LLL. The program is designed to pair volunteer native speakers with those who want to practice the Turkish language and learn more about Turkish culture. Conversation partners meet once or twice a week in a place they decide upon and have friendly conversations both in English and Turkish. About 25 students have participated in the program so far. Many of the Turkish learning participants are already enrolled in Turkish courses offered on campus and have spent a semester in Istanbul as part of the SU Abroad program.

If you are planning to go Istanbul with the SU abroad program, the conversation partner program offers you a wonderful opportunity to learn about Turkey and learn at least survival Turkish from native speakers before leaving for Istanbul. If you’re already learning Turkish, the conversation partner program offers you practice for what you learn in classroom settings.

Tu r k i s h Ta b l e , C o f f e e & Te a a n d M ov i e N i g h t s The Moynihan European Research Center, Middle Eastern Studies Program and Turkish Language Program at LLL have been organizing the Turkish Table for several years. Since Fall of 2012, the Turkish Students Association has cosponsored the event. The Turkish Table is led by Professor Jaklin Kornfilt, Turkish Program Coordinator in the LLL Department. If you're interested in learning more about Turkish culture, language and

meeting new friends, you are welcome to join us. From beginners to native speakers, all are welcome to attend. Four Turkish Tables and one “Turkish Coffee & Tea Night” are being planned for the Spring Semester. Movie nights are not entirely independent from the Turkish Table. They are often scheduled before a Turkish Table, wherein a part of the conversation is intended to touch upon the content of the movie. Three-four contemporary and classic Turkish movies have been screened in each semester. The Turkish table and movie nights for the Spring 2014 semester will be announced on TSA’s website and social media accounts early September once they’re scheduled. Follow us!

Wo r l d C u l t u r e s o n Q u a d Co-sponsored by the TSA, a delightful spread of Turkish food was presented at the Turkish Table at the LLL’s World Cultures on the Quad event. World Culture(s) on the Quad is an opportunity for all members of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics to come together to share and enjoy samplings of the cultures and languages taught at Syracuse University. The event is held in the breezeway of HBC. Various samples of Turkish cuisine were served and Turkish culture was presented through information packets, pictures and conversations at one of the best tables of the event through the collaboration of members of the Turkish Studies of LLL and TSA members.

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D r. M o r g a n


The lecture focused on some of the standard explanations for why there is inequality in K-12 educational outcomes in the United States and why some of the explanations are not persuasive. Particularly, he pointed out that in educational reform dialogue on the table there were two entrenched positions on how the K12 schooling could be improved. One of them, as he put, was the lack of funding myth, whereas the other idea was based on various school transformations. The advocates of the first idea believed that if the funding per student was equalized across the nation, then the inequality in educational outcomes would be eliminated. But the advocates of the latter idea believed the problems could be eliminated by freeing schools in the form of charter schools. To watch the whole lecture visit TSA’s YouTube channel:

Istanbul, the Champions! Turkish students attending SU have been competing in the Intramurals Soccer tournaments for years. Their team, Istanbul, started off the season with group stage where they lost to Manchester United 3-2 on the 2nd match day following a poor display but managed to qualify for the next round. This loss seemed to wake up the team since they ended up with a The champions of Fall ‘13 Outdoor Soccer 4-game winning strike scoring 15 Intramurals pose after the championship game. goals (24 in 7 games) and showing a solid defensive display. The final game interestingly ended up being a rematch against United to make up for the only loss of the season. Turks’ discipline helped them to dominate the game and became the champions with the 3-1 win.



President of the Turkish Cultural Center, Tim Saka, and President of the Peace Islands Institute, Bülent Özdemir, both highlighted the importance of media in promoting social values that call upon the ideals of tolerance, humanity and intercultural exchange. The president of Turkish Student Association, Mehmet Kaya, gave a brief description of TSA activities and expressed the mission of the TSA as one that seeks to foster cross-religious/ cross-cultural collaboration and dialogue in order to promote tolerance and peace. In quoting Mother Teresa, “Peace begins with a smile”, and the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), “Your smile for your brother is charity”, Kaya emphasized that simple individual efforts can contribute to the process of peace building in local and global communities. The final speaker of the night, James Joseph, incoming dean of the Madden School of Business at Le Moyne College, gave a light-hearted yet stirring speech on his experiences traveling to Turkey with the group program organized by the Turkish Cultural Center several times annually, and reaffirmed that we must shake hands as brothers and sisters in the international arena, be this to do business or simply to share an experience and connection that will serve to secure this world for mutual growth, rather than destruction. At the end of the night, special guests were awarded hand-made porcelain crafts from the Turkish Cultural Center and all guests were able to have their name written on beautiful stationary by a professional calligrapher.

T S A We l c o m e P i c n i c TSA organized a welcoming picnic that enabled new and old Turkish students to get to know each other and share a friendly atmosphere. This picnic was held on September 1st at Jamesville Beach Park with the participation of about 30 people. Picnic had been a successful venture so that provided people with an opportunity of enjoying delicious barbecue as well as authentic Turkish desserts. TSA’s President, Mehmet Kaya delivered a short speech and explained what are TSA’s mission and vision and what kinds of events have been organized to achieve pre-determined objectives. Besides, creating a common ground for communication, it was also one of the purposes of the picnic to help the newly admitted students familiarize with Syracuse University and its academic and physical environment. This could partially be achieved through opinion and experience exchanges. Welcoming picnics have turned into a TSA tradition over the years, and hopefully will take place every year with a growing enthusiasm and participation.

Ebru (left) and calligraphy (right) artists perform at the event.

Whitewater Rafting Even though Syracuse is a winter city, there are plenty of activities that you can enjoy during spring and summer time. SU Recreation Service gives opportunity to attend Rafting tour at Black River in Watertown. Rafting allows you to have this amazing experience and unforgettable memories. Turkish Student Association members took this chance to join the tour and had a great time! Your Student Fee - 3

Ko n y a & C e l a l e d d i n - i R u m i ( M e v l a n a ) Konya, located in the middle of the Anatolian mainland, is one of Turkey’s most important regions, with its historical, cultural, touristic and agricultural centers alongside with its rich spiritual tapestry. Considered one of the oldest settlements in world history, Konya has been permanently settled back to the Paleolithic age, and has been a cradle for many civilizations through the Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Early Copper and Bronze Ages, which dates inhabitation in the region back to 7000 BC. Exemplifying the historical background of Konya, Catalhoyuk, located within the province of Konya, is known as a center of the first cultivation made in the world history. In the 6th century BC, Hittites and Lycians ruled the city of Konya and its province; before them, the Persians ruled in the 4th century B.C; it was subjected to Alexander the Great, Selevkos, under the Bergama Kingdom in 2nd century B.C. and the Romans in 395 A.C. ruled the city of Konya and its province. At the beginning of the 7th century, the Sasanies ruled Konya while the Amawiys temporarily occupied Konya at the middle of the same century. Konya was predominantly a Byzantine province until the 10th century. The Seljuk Turks were the first Turk raiders those who came to Konya before the Malazgirt Victory (1069). The Great Seljuk Sultan Alparslan opened the gate of Anatolia for Turks in 1071. Konya was conquered by Kutalmısoglu Suleyman Shah. Thus the Anatolian Seljuk State was established in 1074 and its capital city was Iznik. During the first crusade in 1097, Iznik was lost and the capital city was moved to Konya. Thus a new page began in the city’s history; Konya was developed day by day and decorated by a variety of architectural styles. It became one of the most flourishing cities in Anatolia in a short time. Konya remained as the capital city until the end of the Seljuk Empire (1308), later it was ruled by Karamanogulları as the biggest city of the Karamanogulları State. Konya was included into the border of the Ottoman Empire (1467) and now it is growing larger and developing rapidly on its way as one of the biggest and most important cities of the Republic of Turkey,

Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi

conveying its enormous contributions to the future generation. The most attractive places for tourism are Catalhoyuk in Cumra, Kilistra in Gokyurt, Eflatun Pinari and Fasillar Manument in Beysehir, Inriz Rock Monument in Eregli, Kubadabat Palace in Beysehir, Alaaddin Hill and Mevlana Campus in Downtown.

Mevlana Celaddini-i Rumi is a 13th century Muslim saint and Anatolian mystic known throughout the world for his exquisite poems and words of wisdom, which have been translated into many languages. Rumi, as he is known in the west, is the best selling poet in USA. The United Nations declared 2007 The Year of Rumi and celebrations were held worldwide. His doctrine advocates unlimited tolerance, positive reasoning, goodness, charity and awareness through love. To him all religions were more or less truth. Mevlana looked with the same eye on Muslims, Jews and Christians alike. His peaceful and tolerant teachings have appealed to men of all sects and creeds. In 1958, Pope John XXIII wrote a special message saying: “In the name of the Catholic World, I bow with respect before the memory of Rumi.” Mevlana died on 17 December 1273 and was laid to rest beside his father in Konya, in present-day Turkey. A splendid shrine, the Mevlana Mausoleum was erected over their remains, which is now a museum and visiting place. Every year on that day, at this magnificent 13th century mausoleum Seb-i Arus, his 'Wedding Day', is celebrated with thousands of people from all around the world. The 'dance' of the Whirling Dervishes is called Sema and it is part of the inspiration of Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi as well as of Turkish custom, history, beliefs and culture. It is what we do as a form of remembrance of God. Summarizing the main philosophy of Mevlana, the following phrase best encapsulates his vision; "Come, come again, whoever you are, come! Heathen, fire worshipper or idolatrous, come! Come even if you broke your penitence a hundred times, Ours is the portal of hope, come as you are."

Whirling Dervishes at the Mevlana Museum in Konya

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Issue 3 - Spring 2014