Day 6 March 31st (UKAM, GPOT & lecture at the Swedish Research Institute)

Day six started with hardships trying to find the first study visit of the day: the International Cultural Research Center (UKAM). Eventually we found the center, thanks to a man who walked us through the highway for about 30 minutes and very corteously wanted no sort of gratification (what a nice gesture).

The think tank’s main focus was on including Kurdish history, language and cultural studies in the Turkish Ottoman-centred school curriculum with the aim of spreading light on the vast minority group that is the Kurdish peoples. A highy interesting project indeed!

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At UKAM

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At UKAM
Group photo (the think tank’s manager posing to the right).
After the visit to UKAM the group headed towards the Istanbul Kültür University where we took a bus from one campus to another in order to visit GPOT (Global Political Trends Center). GPOT is a think tank, specialized in consulting with expertise on foreign relations and peace and conflict studies. We met with three different students working for the think tank, all with different focus; two specializing in the Israel/Palestine conflict and the other one on Turkish/Cyprusian relations.
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Outside the University.

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At the lecture

 

Group photo.
The hardships with finding our way during that day didn’t end at the University, though. When we tried to get back in order to go to a lecture on coping Syrian refugees’ coping mechanisms at the Swedish Research Center, there had been a power black out in the city, which meant that we had to take the bus to get back. The station was of course crowded and some of us got lost in the stream of people (but we found them later of course) trying to get back to the city center. At last we found our way to the Research center and got there just in time for the lecture held by a psychologist from Uppsala University who had conducted field work in refugee camps at the Turkish-Syrian border with the focus on how religiosity affects mental health in troubling times (Syrian war).
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Lecture on religion’s coping mechanisms
Last but not least, the evening ended with a mingle with snacks and beverage at the research institute. Since most of us were leaving the next morning we had a little after party back at the hostel. Exhausted, but happy after this very interesting, fun and eventful day.
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/Peter (I kidnapped a kitty home to Sweden)