Turkey 2011


June 23 – July 2 2011       3 Credits          $3250

Now accepting applications – Deadline to Apply: 4/16/11

$1000 Scholarships available*

George Mason University’s Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution and Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies are proud to present:

“Turkey: Dynamics of Identity and Foreign Policy at the Crossroads of Civilizations”


The modern Republic of Turkey emerged from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire less than 85 years ago. It is the natural heir to the imperial rule inherited from the Roman and Byzantine Empires that made the Turkey the center of Eastern and Western world interactions for over six hundred years. The case of Turkey and its modern emergence as a regional power in both Europe and the Middle East is instructive in understanding the dynamics of an emerging regional actor that defines a new type of identity and international politics for the 21st century.

This seminar explores the rise of Europe and the Middle East’s fastest growing economy and most dynamic regional actor as a case-study for the future of identity, diplomacy, and foreign policy in international affairs. Turkey is uniquely placed neighboring to the Middle East, Balkans, Black Sea and Caucasus regions and have a potential to play a decisive role in providing alternatives models and paradigms for domestic and international politics. As a longtime ally of the West and new partner of Iran, Iraq, and Syria, Turkey has been seeking the role of eminent third party in every available arena including Egypt, Lebanon, and Tunisia. As a G-20 founding member, holder of a seat on the UN Security Council, European Union aspirant, and head of the Organization of Islamic Conference, Turkey has transformed itself into an international actor, capable of bringing considerable clout and influence to its regions.

This seminar explores Turkey through the interdisciplinary lens of area studies, conflict resolution,  history, international studies, and political science. Participants will be expected to actively engage not only intellectually but also with an experiential learning curriculum that includes meeting and interacting with leaders in the academic, business, cultural, and political spheres of Turkey and arranged as supplements to the daily curriculum. Hosted by the internationally-accredited Istanbul Şehir University in the imperial capital and crossroads of civilization, Istanbul, this seminar offers an unparalleled platform from which to explore Turkey’s dynamism. A field trip to Turkey’s modern political capital, Ankara, to meet with officials from embassies, the foreign ministry, parliament, and think-tanks along with its historical sites will be a critical component to the seminar.

Course Details:

Readings, class discussions, assignments, field trips, and seminars are designed to help participants to:

  • Become better analysts of the transforming global system, which Turkey has been experiencing first hand from a security oriented Cold Warrior state, into a multi-dimensional regional actor.
  • Connect with and understand the reality of Turkish peers through joint field trips.
  • Understand the civilian and governmental actors that are part of this transformation.
  • Improve their conceptual tools and theoretical foundations to become a better analyst of identity issues.
  • Consider the social, political, religious and diplomatic transformations influencing identity construction and transformation in the modern world.
  • Increase their understanding of the role of identity in analyzing conflicts and proposing resolution strategies in both domestic and international contexts.
  • Meet leading academics, journalists, opinion makers and policy makers in Turkey.
  • Visit historical sites, museums as well as modern monuments of Turkey to experience the visual, cultural and architectural heritage of Turkey.

The seminar will be co-taught by Dr. Talha Kose and Dr. Joshua W. Walker at Istanbul Sehir University. The students in this program will be partnered with students in Turkey for the duration of the course.

Price Includes:

Daily breakfast and lunch; 3 credits bachelors or graduate in conflict analysis and resolution, history**, or other TBD**; excursions; entrance fees; transportation; lodging in İstanbul Şehir University dorms.  Price does not include flights, but CRDC will try to get group rates from Washington-Istanbul for those students who would prefer a group flight option.


Talha Köse Ph.D. Is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations at İstanbul Şehir University, and currently a guest lecturer at the University of Maastricht (The Netherlands). Dr. Köse was formerly a fellow at the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies at George Mason University. Dr. Köse has served as the Research director of SETA Foundation Washington office and foreign policy and Conflict Resolution analyst at SETA Ankara Bureau. Talha Köse worked as lecturer and a research assistant at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR), where he also completed his doctoral studies.

Ethnic-sectarian and identity based conflicts, approaches to inter-cultural reconciliation, community mediation, Alevi Issue in Turkey, Kurdish Issue, Iran nuclear negotiations are some of the research interests of Dr Köse.

Dr. Joshua W. Walker is an international expert on Turkey, Oxbridge Director of Turkey, and an Assistant Professor of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond. Dr. Walker is currently a junior scholar at the Crown Center on Middle Eastern Studies, research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, and a non-resident fellow at the German Marshall Fund based in Washington, D.C. Dr. Walker holds a PhD from Princeton University, MA from Yale University, and a BA from the University of Richmond. He has worked for the U.S. Embassy in Ankara and the State Department. Click here to watch an interview with Dr. Walker on NBC News.

Application Process:

In order to be eligible for the course in the Turkey,  participants must submit a CV (or resume), a personal statement of no more than one page explaining why they want to participate  and a photocopy of their passport to CRDC Office Manager Nawal Rajeh at crdc@gmu.edu


Exact dates:

  • Leave the USA June 23rd, Arrive in Istanbul in the 24th.
  • 8 nights in Turkey
  • Leave on July 2nd

Turkey in the News:





*Scholarship Information:

George Mason University students (both undergraduate or graduate students) will be eligible for 1000 dollars scholarship from Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies. Priority will go to students in Islamic Studies or Middle Eastern Studies minor programs. The total fee for those students receiving the scholarship will be 2250 dollars.  Please indicate in your application whether you want to be considered for the scholarship or not.

**Credit Options:

Students enrolled in this course will receive 3 credits of CONF 385, 399 or 695 (Special Topics or Field Experience) depending on their level (Bachelors, Masters or Phd).  CONF is ‘conflict analysis and resolution’. The School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution is an interdisciplinary school located at George Mason University in Arlington, VA USA.  Mason history credit and others may be granted as well, and these announcements are forthcoming.  Students from outside of George Mason will need to transfer these credits to their home institution.  Due to the interdisciplinary nature of conflict analysis and resolution, home schools may be able to grant credit for a variety of disciplines including but not limited to: political science, history, international relations, cultural anthropology, social psychology, international affairs, Middle East Studies etc.  Please check with your academic advisor to find out what fits best for you.  Syllabi can be sent upon request.

Additional Information