Niagara Foundation – Nebraska has organized five intercultural trips to Turkey this summer 2013. Barney McCoy who is associate professor at college of journalism and mass communiction at UNL joined us Turkey trip that is organized on July 19 – 29, 2013. Here, you will find the reflection/thoughts of Prof Barney about Turkey trip organized by Niagara Foundation .
Joanne and I really enjoyed meeting you, Ali and the other members of our delegation these past two weeks. We thank you and the Niagara Foundation for hosting Nebraska and Kansas journalists and spouses who just completed the 10-day press and cultural tour, by plane, train, bus and boat, of Turkey.
I commend the work of the Niagra Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to fostering civic conversations and sustained relationships between people of different cultures and faiths. We enjoyed learning more about the philosophy and global outreach efforts of the Hizmet movement. I hope we might work with the Niagra Foundation to organize and coordinate visits by some of our students to Turkey in the future. There is so much to learn there.
By my count our delegation logged 10 flights, seven bus trips, one boat and one train trip that totaled nearly 13,000 miles. We were blessed to met with reporters and editors of Today’s Zaman, an English language daily Turkish newspaper, The Zaman newspaper, Turkey’s largest newspaper with more than one-million daily readers, Turkish television station Samanyolu, officials with Turkey’s Parliament, the Journalists and Writers Foundation, Mevlana University, and Kimse Yok Mu, a Turkish humanitarian aid organization that provides global disaster relief.
One highlight of the visit for me was an opportunity for delegation members to visit the homes of two Turkish families in Izmir where they were hosted for a traditional dinner during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The delegation also visited cultural sites in and near the Turkish cities of Istanbul, Ankara, Konya, Capadocia, and Kayseri
It’s impossible to adequately describe to an outsider the cultural and historic diversity of your fascinating nation. You have to witness Turkey up close to begin understanding its significance as an emerging global power and historic crossroad to the world.
You can’t travel across Turkey without seeing visual reminders of a past that runs millennia deep. Roman, Ottoman, Muslim and Christian remains and ruins that date back thousands of years. Cultures, religions and civilizations that mingled, warred, lived in peace, experienced poverty, prosperity and persecution.
From what I saw, Turkey’s 75-million citizens are passionate and committed to living life to the fullest. There is emphasis on higher education, economic productivity, modernization and global partnering that holds promise for Turkey.
We saw new highway and transportation infrastructure freshly built or being built as we traveled across the country. Turkish newspapers and media are seeing increases in audiences as they pour revenues into expanded multi-platform operations that are domestic and international in reach.
Turkey’s healthcare, educational and social services for its citizens appear to be increasingly robust. For example: A Health of Nations profile listed life expectancy in Turkey at 72.9 years in 2007, up from 56 years in 1970. The United States spent more than on health care according to a 2012 Council on Foreign Relations report. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, Turkey’s annual healthcare spending in 2009 represented 6.2 percent of total GDP. Lower healthcare costs are a potential boon to Turkey’s economy, allowing more income for investment and personal spending as well as lower cost overhead for the government and business.
Photo caption: CoJMC faculty with members of the Nebraska and Kansas press during a visit to the ancient Greek city of Ephesus in Turkey. Ephesus dates to the early Bronze Age, almost 2,000 years before the birth of Christ. It was home to one of the churches of Asia cited in the Book of Revelation. The Gospel of John, according to some biblical scholars, may have been written here. Members of the delegation (left to right) Ali Simsek, Joanne McCoy, Barney McCoy, Patti Beutler, Steve Haynes, Linda Russell, Don Russell, Gary Kebbel, Linda Beerman, Allen Beerman, Cynthia Haynes, Deb Mann, Norm McCaslin, Deb McCaslin, Les Mann, Laura Combs, Patrick Combs. Not pictured: Ismail Ozcan.
Photo caption: CoJMC faculty with members of the Nebraska and Kansas press during a visit to Today’s Zaman newspaper’s bureau in Ankara, Turkey. Pictured from left to right in photo on the left: Former Clay County News Editor Don Russell, Oberlin Herald Publisher Steve Haynes, Today’s Zaman Bureau Chief Abdullah Bozkurt, Nebraska Press Association Director Allen Beerman, CoJMC Associate Professor Barney McCoy.Pictured from left to right in photo on the right: Former Norfolk Daily News General Manager Les Mann, Niagra Foundation Coordinator Ismail Ozcan, unidentified photographer, Today’s Zaman Diplomatic Correspondent Sinem Cengiz, Today’s Zaman Reporter Hanife Sevde Kose
As Custer County Chief Publisher Deb McCaslin looks on, Kimse Yok Mu Donor Relations Specialist Saliha Polat briefs CoJMC faculty and members of the Nebraska and Kansas press during a visit to the Turkish humanitarian global relief agency. CoJMC Associate Professor Barney McCoy asks Niagra Foundation Coordinator Ali Simsek about the Global Disaster Monitoring software used by Kimse Yok Mu to track global humanitarian disaster relief operations in the organization’s Istanbul headquarters.
CoJMC Professor Gary Kebbel and Associate Professor Barney McCoy on the ground in Istanbul
Members and spouses of the Nebraska and Kansas press during a visit to the Alâeddin Mosque in Konya, Turkey. The building served as the “Mosque of the Throne” for the Seljuq Sultans of Rum and contains the dynastic mausoleum. It was constructed in stages between the mid-12th and mid-13th centuries. From left to right- Laura Combs, Linda Russell, Lincoln Journal Star Features Editor Patti Beutler, Joanne McCoy, Deb Mann, Cynthia Haynes, Linda Beerman, Custer County Chief Publisher Deb McCaslin