In collaboration with Princeton University, a world-renowned institution, Kadir Has University hosted a six-week summer program titled “Islam, Empire, and Modernity: Turkey from the Caliphs to the 21st Century.” Prof. Şükrü Hanioğlu, chair of Princeton University’s Near Eastern Studies, coordinated the program.
The first week of the six-week program took place in Budapest-Hungary. In the following weeks, the program was hosted by Kadir Has University, aside from one week which was spent in Trabzon.
The first week of the program, titled “Hungary under the Influence of Ottoman,” was held from the 11th to the 18th of June, 2011, in Budapest, the capital of Hungary. The second part of the program, which took place in Istanbul, focused on the historical development of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic, starting from the 16th century and time of Suleiman the Magnificent up to the present day, including discussions of the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal. The program also included talks on Turkish culture and art, including Turkish literature from Divan literature to Orhan Pamuk, as well as discussions of Topkapı Palace and contemporary Turkish architecture.
In addition to theoretical courses, which were held four days a week, the program included volunteer activities and weekend day-trips in Istanbul. Attendees were able to explore Istanbul, a city which bore witness of Turkish history throughout the centuries, and gain first-hand experience of Turkish culture.
In courses which were taught by scholars from Princeton University and Kadir Has University, participants learned about Turkish history, as well as the cultural and historical development of Turkish society. Students from Princeton joined together with Khas students in a variety of events, and also studied Turkish.
The conclusion of the program was celebrated on July 23rd with a Bosphorus tour hosted by Kadir Has University as well as a farewell dinner in Cemile Sultan Forest. Some students returned home upon completion of the program, while others, together with their parents who came to visit from the US, visited various parts of Turkey. With the assistance of the Istanbul Chamber of Industry, some participants were able to complete internships.
Of the forty-three applicants from Princeton, only fifteen were selected to join in the international program, and students from Kadir Has University students also participated.