Intercultural Trip to Turkey - August 2006

turkeytrip2006.jpgThe Institute of Interfaith Dialog and Raindrop Turkish House in Greater Kansas City area hosted Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II 10 days in Turkey, August 13th to 23rd, 2006. Some of the attendees were the Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II from Missouri's 5th congressional district, Dianne Cleaver, Emmanuel Cleaver, III, Sharon Cleaver, Rev. Wallace Hartsfield, Mrs. Matilda Hartsfield, Rev. Edward Stevenson, Jane Stevenson, Dr. Myron McCoy, president of St Paul school of Theology, Karen McCoy, Randell Ferguson, Helen Porter, Rev. Robert (Bob) Hill, Community Christian Church and Genaro Ruiz. The starting and ending place was Istanbul. Upon arriving to Istanbul Group took a bluer cruise tour in Bosphorus. (13-23 August, 2006 Turkey)

The next day, in early morning the group had flight to Kayseri and then bus trip to Nevsehir (Cappadocia). In Cappadocia, the group had a sightseeing on cave towns and gorges of Cappadocia and visited underground city.

After Cappadocia the group took a bus trip to Konya which is a city of Rumi. In Konya, Group was hosted by several local families for dinner at their houses. And next day guest visited the tomb of worldly famous peace hero, Rumi and Aladdin Mosque. The group was hosted by the local representatives and Konya representative of Turkish Parliament for a lunch. After a welcome speech given by Konya Representative, Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver II gave a brief speech and thanked the hospitality of business men of Konya. While tasting of Turkish cousin from Konya Region, the group also had chance to see of live whirling dervishes performance .

The next was the city of Antalya. In Antalya the group visited ancient theater, Aspendos, Perge, the old city of Antalya, Kursunlu water fall and Garden of Religions. The group spent the evening experiencing a traditional Turkish dinner and hospitality with the Antalya fire chief and his family at their house.

The group's next destination was Izmir. In Izmir the group visited the ancient city Ephesus and the house of Virgin Mary, St John Basilica and also in Izmir group was hosted by a local family for the dinner.

The final city for the trip was Istanbul again. In Istanbul, this time the group had a chance to visit the Writers and Journalists Foundation, Samanyolu TV station, Jewish Museum of Turkey and Zulfaris Sinagogue. The group also had a chance to visit the first and biggest in-door mall called Grand Bazaar and spent some time for shopping. After the shopping, next stop was Fatih University and there group members had conversation with some professors administrators.

In Istanbul, the group also had chance to visit following highlights of Istanbul.

The Kariye (Chora) Museum: The best Byzantine mosaics in the region. Originally built in the 4th century,

Suleymaniye Mosque which was built by Suleyman the Magnificent in 16th century, this imperial mosque is one of the masterpieces of the great architect Sinan.

Jewish Museum of Turkey Zulfaris Sinagogue which was built in 1671 and restored in 19th century, this place exhibits the story of 700 years of amity between Turks and Jews.

Hagia Sophia (Church of Holy Wisdom), now known as the Ayasofya Museum, one of the greatest marvels of architecture, constructed as a basilica in the 6th century by emperor Justinian.

The Sultan Ahmet Mosque (famously known as Blue Mosque) built in the name of Sultan Ahmet, facing to Hagia Sophia, famous with its blue Iznik tiles and unique 6 minarets.

Hippodrome:, it was the center of sportive (chariot races, athletics) events and political activities of the “old city”. Obelisk of Theodosius, Serpentine Column, and German Fountain of Wilhelm II are the monuments decorating Hippodrome the Underground Cistern one of the most extraordinary and impressive buildings in Istanbul.

Topkapi Palace, it is the first Ottoman Palace. After Sultan Mehmed II (Fatih –The Conqueror) Conquered Constantinople in 1453 he started to construct a great complex .