Niagara Travel Grant Program 2015 – Missouri


The program consists of the following:

• Pre-trip: Workshop in April
• Application Period: Deadline in March
• 10-day trip to Turkey
• Post-trip: Participant Presentations in November

The Center for Academic Affairs of NF has been running a summer travel grant program to Turkey for faculty and researchers.  This travel grant program is for supporting specialized professional trips to Turkey that are geared for creating research opportunities for participating faculty in social sciences. The program aims to attract academicians who have research interests on economic, political, social and cultural issues, and freedom of press in Turkey as well as on the US-Turkey relations from the perspective of politics, dialogue, religion, sociology, and history. Faculties and researchers who are studying and/or teaching on these topics will be considered for this grant program.

Niagara Foundation has organized several such trips since 2006 and supported about 75 faculty members to participate in these trips from several universities in Missouri and Illinois including Washington University in St. Louis, University of Missouri Columbia, St. Louis University, University of Missouri St. Louis, Southern Illinois University and Lindenwood University.

The travel grant covers all travel expenses while traveling within Turkey for 10 days including accommodation, travel and meal expenses. NF partners with Bosphorus-Atlantic Association of Cultural Cooperation & Friendship (BAKIAD), a non-profit organization in Istanbul, Turkey, and some of the universities, which sponsor the trip costs in Turkey. BAKIAD finds local sponsors for hosting the guests at the decent hotels or guesthouses, providing guides and arranging meals. These donors believe in the need for dialog, understanding and cross-cultural exchange. In this way, the attendants will also have the opportunity to meet and interact with local people and families. Note that NF receives no financial aid or any other type of grant from the Turkish government or any other government for funding these trips. No monies are received from any political parties in the United States or Turkey.

As part of the grant, some universities/institutions in Turkey host the participating faculty for talks, panels, workshops, luncheons, etc., creating opportunities for faculty engagement, collaboration and research. The university and event selections are done by NF based on the expertise of the participants and their early feedback. Here are some of the opportunities you will have on this trip:

• Meeting with Media officials, journalists, reporters, etc.
• Media Outlets Visits: Newspaper agency, TV Channel, or Radio Stations; discussing specific topics like freedom of press, challenges and opportunities of media in Turkey.
• Non-Profit Organization Visits: Reliefs Organizations, Dialogue organizations, Think Tanks, etc.
• University Visits: meeting with local academicians, students; participation discussion panels or forums
• High School Visits: Meeting with local teachers and administration; lecture on educational system
• Local Home Visits: having breakfast or dinner with local Turkish families, which is one of the highlights of the trip according to our participants.
• Art & Culture: Lecture or presentations on Handmade Turkish Pottery, Turkish Carpets & Rugs, Ebru (water marbling), Whirling Sufi Dervishes, etc.
• Visiting historical and cultural sites with professional tour guides: some of the sites and attractions are Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, Topcapi Palace, Dolmabahce Palace, Bosporus boat tour in Istanbul, underground cities, ferry chimneys, and hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia, Ephesus and the House of Virgin Mary in Izmir, etc.

The grant does not include the round trip fare from US to Istanbul (varies from $800 to $1300 per person depending on the time of the year). Each attendant is responsible for this cost in addition to a participation fee of $450 per person.

Prior to trip, a half-day orientation/information workshop will be held for awardees. This workshop will be open to anyone (in addition to awardees) who would like to get more information about the trip.

Eligibility Requirements

The travel grant program is open to post-docs and faculty at any level in Journalism, Social Sciences, and Humanities. Exceptional candidates at the “PhD candidate or ABD’’ level will also be considered. We seek people whose research/teaching focus on but not limited to the following issues.

Freedom of Media
The Rights of Minorities
Women’s Rights
Democracy in Middle-Eastern Countries
US-Turkey Relations
Middle-East Politics
Turkey and EU
Intercultural/Interfaith Dialogue, Multi-Culturalism
History of Turkey and/or Middle-East
Social Movements in Turkey and Middle-East
Democratization in Turkey and Middle-East


Please submit a 1000 word abstract along with your current resume. The abstract should address the following:
– Why would you like to attend this trip?
– Upon returning from the trip, how will you incorporate the experience in your research or teaching?
– Upon returning from the trip, how would you share this unique experience with your community (e.g., giving a talk at the university, church, writing an article in a local newspaper)?

Contact Person:

Ali Durhan
Executive Director
Niagara Foundation Missouri
Send email inquiries to [email protected]

Deadlines & Workshop

Deadline for submission: 3/20/2015
Notification: 3/30/2015
Workshop: 4/18/2015

Time Period of Travel
May 19 – 29, 2015

Reporting Requirements

Each awardee is expected to submit two items upon returning from the trip:
1- A reflection paper (3-7 pages) presenting the reflections of the awardee about the trip within 60 days of returning.
2- Individualized reporting for the trip: (giving a talk at the university, church, writing an article in a local newspaper, inviting a guest speaker, organizing a lecture, etc.). The participant and Ali Durhan, the Executive Director of Niagara Foundation Missouri will decide the individual reporting according to the participant’s interest and research area.

The papers should be in 11pts font and in pdf format.

This is a sample itinerary! The actual itinerary will be decided according to the participants’ backgrounds, study areas, and interests.

Arrive at Istanbul Ataturk Airport
Dinner @ Restaurant
Check-in Hotel
Return to Hotel
Overnight in Istanbul

Breakfast at Hotel
Meet at the Hotel Lobby
Cultural Site Visits to Topkapi Palace And Hagia Sophia Museum
Lunch at Historical Sultan Ahmet Square @ Lale Pudding Shop
Cultural Site Visits to Blue Mosque, Hippodrome Square
Dinner @ Restaurant
Back to Hotel
Overnight in Istanbul

Breakfast at Hotel
Meet at the Hotel Lobby
Lecture #1 by Turkish journalists on “Democracy and Freedom of Press in Turkey” @ ZAMAN Newspaper
Lecture #2 by Media Officials at Samanyolu Media Group
Arrive at Istanbul Ataturk Airport
Flight from Istanbul to Cappadocia, Kayseri
Check in Hotel in Cappadocia
Dinner @ Restaurant
Overnight in Cappadocia

Breakfast at Hotel
Meet at the Hotel Lobby
Hot Air Balloon Tour over Cappadocia – At your own expense / approx $180 per person
Goreme – Urgup Open Air Museum
Lecture #3 on Traditional Turkish Carpets and Rugs
Lunch at a Restaurant
Underground Cities
Ihlara Valley – Tracking
Dinner at a Restaurant
Return to Hotel
Overnight in Cappadocia

Breakfast at Hotel
Meet at the Hotel Lobby
Bus Drive to the Capitol City, Ankara
Lunch at a Restaurant
Visit Ipek University
Lecture #5 on “Higher Education in Turkey” by Dr. Bestami Bilgic
Check in Hotel
Dinner Experience with a Turkish Family
Back to Hotel
Overnight in Ankara

Breakfast at Hotel
Meet at the Hotel Lobby
Samanyolu High School Visit
Lecture #6 by Mehmet Erdogan, Principle at Samanyolu High School on “Education System in Turkey”
Lunch @ Restaurant
Arrive Ankara Airport for check-in
Fly from Ankara to Antalya
Arrive at Antalya International Airport
Check in Hotel
Dinner at Hotel
Overnight in Antalya

Breakfast at Hotel in Antalya
Meet at the Hotel Lobby
Visit Antalya International University
Lecture #7 on “Civil Societies in Turkey”
Lunch at Antalya International University
Kaleici City Tour
Mediterranean Cruise
Dinner Experience with a Turkish Family
Back to Hotel
Overnight in Antalya

Breakfast at Hotel in Antalya
Fly from Antalya to Izmir
Arrive at Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport
Drive directly to the ruins of Ephesos
Lunch in Sirince
Visit Virgin Mary’s House
Visit the ruins of Ephesos Ancient city
Lecture #8 on Turkish Pottery and Ceramics: History of figures and colors at the Ceramics Art Center
Drive to Hotel
Check in Hotel in Izmir
Overnight in Izmir

Breakfast at Hotel in Izmir
Visit Gediz University
Lecture #9 “Freedom of Speech in Turkish Context”
Lunch Experience with a Turkish Family
Free Time in Konak Square
Drive to Adnan Menderes Airport
Fly from Izmir to Istanbul
Arrive at Istanbul Ataturk Airport
Check in Hotel in Istanbul
Overnight in Istanbul

Breakfast at Hotel in Istanbul
Boat Tour
Cultural exploration on your own – Recommended: Shopping at “Historical Grand Bazaar”
Cultural exploration on your own – Recommended: Shopping at “Spice Bazaar”
Cultural exploration on your own – Recommended: “Chora Church”
Cultural exploration on your own – Recommended: “Eyup Sultan Mosque”
Cultural exploration on your own – Recommended: “Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art”
Cultural exploration on your own – Recommended: “The Istanbul Archaeology Museums”
Dinner at a Restaurant
Return to Hotel
Overnight in Istanbul

Breakfast at hotel
Depart for the airport
Flight to USA



Twins in Kitchen.
Here you will find recipes of the Turkish dishes.


The Sultan’s Kitchen: A Turkish Cookbook by Ozcan Ozan. Turkish Tea Presentation by Katharine Branning



YouTube video presentation by George and Ugur Clare on Turkish coffee and its importance in Turkish daily life



Women, Gender, and Society in Turkey by Dr. Marcia Hermansen

History & Art of Turkey by Dr. Mustafa Kaya

A Century of Turkish Democracy by Dr. Kadir Yildirim


Turkey is a vast and varied country boasting incredible landscapes and natural wonders bordered by four different seas


Some Notes on Turkish Alphabet and Language






This is useful for anyone researching Turkish culture, customs, manners, etiquette and values.

Touristic Map of Turkey

Turkish Community Activities in Midwest


Turkey’s Travel Guide of Wikitravel

Virtual Turkey Visit

Niagara Foundation Turkey Travel Guide

Turkish Politics, Democracy, Secularism

Ahmet Kuru, “The Rise and Fall of Military Tutelage in Turkey,” Insight Turkey 14:2 (2012).

Fevzi Bilgin, “Constitutional Moment,” The Washington Review (June 2010).

Turkish Foreign Policy

Ziya Onis, “Multiple Faces of New Turkish Foreign Policy,” Insight Review 13:

Alper Dede,” The Arab Uprisings: Debating the “Turkish Model,” Insight Turkey

Turkish History

1. Lords of The Horizons, A History of The Ottoman Empire by Jason Goodwin

2. Crescent & Star, Turkey Between Two World by Stephen Kinzer

3. Osman’s Dream: The History of The Ottoman Empire by Caroline Finkel

4. New Turkish Republic: Turkey As a Pivotal State in the Muslim World by Graham Fuller

Hizmet (Gulen) Movement

1. The Gulen Movement: A Sociological Analysis of a Civic Movement Rooted in Moderate Islam by Helen Rose Ebaugh

Interfaith/Intercultural Dialogue

1. Dialogue in Islam, by Ahmet Kurucan, Mustafa Kasim Erol, , Dialogue Society

2. The Faith Club: A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew—Three Women Search for Understanding by Ranya Idliby;

Some Novels

1. The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi by Elif Shafak

2. My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk, Nobel Prize for Literature 2006

The views and opinions expressed on The Falls are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Niagara Foundation, its staff, other authors, members, partners, or sponsors.