2016 Spotlight on Turkey

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The Tennessee World Affairs Council Invites You To The


For High School Teachers and Principals

In Association With the World Affairs Councils of America and the Turkish Cultural Foundation


This three part program provides teachers and principals the opportunity to learn about Turkey’s rich culture through a day-long seminar held in February, a summer study tour to Turkey and a fall public affairs program.

Travel to Turkey in the summer of 2016 for a study tour. The itinerary for 2016 is still under construction but here’s what a previous program participant had to say:

The ‘Spotlight on Turkey’ program was one of the major highlights of my teaching career. The program provided an opportunity to learn first-hand about a culture that is so tied to current issues and events. The historical knowledge gain through this experience phenomenal as well as the enrichment to my geographic awareness. We were allowed to immerse ourselves with the Turks which gave us an even more complete view of the people and their culture. This opportunity was shared with high-quality educators from around the country which provided the opportunity for us to exchange ideas and best practices. It was a great adventure and I recommend it to anyone who considers themselves a life-long learner.”

— Dr. Marilyn Taylor, PhD; Overton HS, Memphis

The Tennessee World Affairs Council can nominate up to seven applicants to the study tour. Selection of up to three of those is made by the World Affairs Councils of America and the Turkish Cultural Foundation. [Applications will be available here by February 15th]

Participation in the February 27th is required for study tour applicants.

I was very fortunate to be selected to visit Turkey through the Tennessee World Affairs Council and the Turkish Cultural Foundation. The trip was expertly planned and allowed teachers to visit all but a distant handful of primary cultural sites in Turkey. The trip gave our group the chance to visit sites from what is considered the earliest permanent settlement, Catalhuyuk, to modern sites such as the tomb of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and everything in between. The local guide, accommodations and hospitality were the stuff of luxury tours, much more elaborate than some other teacher trips I have been a part of. If you are selected to join the group going from Tennessee this year it will be a highlight of your educational career as you simultaneously learn, explore and prepare to share more about Turkey and its vast history with your students.

— Dave Barrett,  Raleigh-Egypt HS, Memphis

Participate in a day-long seminar on Turkish culture and history. On February 27th the Tennessee World Affairs Council will host a seminar at Belmont University.  The agenda will be published by February 15th. The preliminary workshop program is provided below. REGISTER NOW for the seminar. Details at LINK.

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Educators’ Seminar – Teachers and Principals




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8:30 a.m. Registration

9:00 a.m. Program Opens

3:30 p.m. Program Concludes


Belmont University, Massey Business Center, Room 304


THE FEB 27th SEMINAR provides six hours of professional development including presentations by scholars, Turkish food at lunch, video presentations from previous Summer study tours, teaching Turkish culture resources and more.




Phase 1 – February 27, 2016

The first stage will consist of a Teachers’ Workshop on Turkey. [Preliminary program below.] The inclusion in the program of school principals in addition to teachers is allowed and encouraged. These workshops will offer local high school educators the chance to be immersed in Turkish culture, art, dance, and more through a series of exhibitions, speakers, publications, and more. Councils will be asked to utilize the outline agenda of topics for the workshops developed by the TCF, along with an identified pool of qualified speakers from which the councils can choose their guest speakers. Councils are expected to have at least 15 teachers present at the workshop and to show the Broad Horizons DVD, produced by TCF about the study tour.

Phase 2 – Summer 2016 (dates TBD)

“Broad Horizons” Video – Eduators Summer Study Tour in Turkey

The second stage will consist of a Study Tour of Turkey open to teachers and educators who participate in the council’s workshop. The program of this tour will be designed by the Turkish Cultural Foundation and all logistical arrangements as well as costs of the tours will be handled directly by the TCF. Each participating council may select 7 applicants as candidates for the study tour, up to 3 of whom will be selected by WACA/TCF. The final selection from each council will be made by WACA and the TCF. WACA will provide each council with a standard application form for the study tour. Councils with late workshop dates are encouraged to distribute the application form along with the announcement of the workshop. Each of these teachers will be asked to pay a registration fee no more than $800 (for double occupancy rooms) and secure their own transportation or pay for domestic airfare to a TCF designated airport.

More Information on the TCF Web Site

Photo Gallery from educators’ study tours


Phase 3 – Sep 1-Dec 31, 2016

The third stage will consist of a Portrait of Turkey program. This stage will consist of one event (workshop, program, speaker, cultural event, etc) and will be open to teachers, students, and the general community. These programs will be designed and implemented by individual councils and teachers who participated in the Study Tour of Turkey will be expected to participate in an integral way in order to share the experience with others.



Dr. Daniel Schafer

Professor of History – Belmont University, Nashville, TN 


Dan Schafer 2Dr. Daniel Schafer is Professor of History at Belmont University. He holds an undergraduate degree in history from Washington University in St. Louis and earned the M.A. and Ph.D. in history at the University of Michigan. Before coming to Belmont in 1996 he taught for several years at Truman State University in Missouri. Dr. Schafer studies the role that non-Russian nationalities have played in Russian and Soviet history, particularly the Muslim peoples of Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Russia proper. His research focuses on the history of two Muslim groups in Russia, the Tatars and Bashkirs, who live throughout the former Soviet Union, but especially in a region stretching from the Volga River to the Ural Mountains. He is currently compiling a Tatar-English lexicon, which he hopes will assist other scholars in mastering Tatar, the second-most spoken language in Russia. Besides teaching college courses on Russian history, Dr. Schafer teaches surveys of Middle Eastern and Central Asian history as well as an advanced course in Islamic intellectual history. For the past five years has directed the Belmont travel-study program in Turkey, which combines classroom teaching with on-site visits to sites of historical and cultural interest in several regions of Turkey. His most recent publication is “Bashkir Loyalists and the Question of Autonomy: Gabdulkhai Kurbangaliev in the Russian Revolution and Civil War,” in Russia’s Home Front in War and Revolution, 1914-1922: Book 1: Russia’s Revolution in Regional Perspective (2016).

Dr. Michael Gunter
Professor, Dept of Sociology and Political Science, Tennessee Tech University, Cookeville, TN

MICHAEL M. GUNTER is a professor of political science at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee where he teaches courses on international relations, international organizations, international law, American foreign policy, European politics, and American politics, among others. He is one of only two others who have won the two most prestigious faculty awards at his university: The Outstanding Faculty Award in Teaching and the Outstanding Faculty Award in Research (The Caplenor Award). He also is the Secretary-General of the EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC) headquartered in Brussels. In the past he taught courses on international and comparative politics for many years during the summer at the International University in Vienna, as well as courses on Kurdish and Middle Eastern politics, among others, for the U.S. Government Areas Studies Program and U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Institute in Washington, D.C. He is the author of 11 critically praised scholarly books on the Kurdish question and co-editor (with Mohammed M. A. Ahmed) of three more books on the Kurds, among others. He has also published numerous scholarly articles on the Kurds and many other issues in such leading scholarly periodicals as the Middle East Journal, Middle East Policy, Middle East Quarterly, Critique: Critical Middle Eastern Studies, Orient, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, Maghreb Review, American Journal of International Law, International Organization, World Affairs, Journal of International Affairs (Columbia University), Brown Journal of World Affairs, Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, Current History, Third World Quarterly, International Journal of Turkish Studies, Insight Turkey, Turkish Studies, Terrorism: An International Journal, and Arms Control, among numerous others. He was a former Senior Fulbright Lecturer in International Relations in Turkey and also has held Fulbright awards for China and Israel. He has been interviewed about the Kurdish question on numerous occasions by the international and national press. His most recent book is Out of Nowhere: The Kurds of Syria in Peace and War, London: Hurst Publications, 2014.

The Spotlight on Turkey program is a joint collaboration between the Turkish Cultural Foundation and the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA). This is the ninth year of this national educational program for American educators. Organized through TCF and WACA with a network of WACA affiliates nationwide, the program is funded by a major grant from TCF and features Teacher Workshops on Turkey, Teacher Study Tours to Turkey, and a series of cultural programs for the general public titled Portrait of Turkey.


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