The Anatolian Peninsula has seen the rise and fall of many civilizations. Students in a January interim course studied the Hellenic, Byzantine, Ottoman Turkish, and modern Turkish civilizations and witnessed everyday life in Istanbul, Iznik (Nicaea), Bursa, and the province of Izmir.
Led by Erol Ulucakli, associate professor of mechanical engineering and a native of Turkey, and Robert Mattison, Metzgar Professor of Art, the 15 students included art, history, biology, and engineering majors.
Jeff Wexler ’16 was drawn to the course after hearing enthusiastic stories about Istanbul from Rachel Goshgarian, assistant professor of history. “It was a completely different religious and social landscape. Calls to prayer echoed from the countless minarets.”
Abdul Dopson ’14, originally from Trinidad and Tobago and a Muslim, says, “I had just completed a Byzantine art course with Professor Ida Sinkevic, and I wanted to see what I had learned about. The experience was exciting and emotional.”
Zach Winthrop ’13 says, “From the top of the Galatta Tower, I observed the Istanbul skyline. I could see a wall remnant of the Byzantine empire, multiple mosques of diverse generations with domes and minarets, and modern buildings.”