Teachers have learning tour of Turkey
Maryland Gazette, 07.08.2013
Three teachers from Montgomery County spent part of their summer vacation on a cultural tour of Turkey.
They were on a Teacher Study Tours program organized and sponsored by the Turkish Cultural Foundation in cooperation with the World Affairs Council of America.
Merida Friedman of Silver Spring International Middle School, Lenore Marie Hopkins of North Bethesda Middle School and Rosamond Byrne of the Academy of the Holy Cross in Kensington were among 54 teachers selected for the program.
“It was a wonderful trip,” Byrne said. “A couple of the highlights for me as a teacher were when we went to a Neolithic site, Catalhoyuk; ancient Troy; and Hagia Sophia, a famous Byzantine church that was turned into a mosque, because I’ve taught about them and studied them.”
Accompanied by volunteer Turkish teachers, the group began the tour in Istanbul, with a visit to such famous landmarks as the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia and the Suleymaniye Mosque.
They also visited the towns of Ephesus, Canakkale, Bursa, Kusadasi, Pamukkale, Gallipoli, where a famous World War I battle was fought, and the site of ancient Troy.
The teachers met with representatives of organizations working on education, women’s issues and the environment. They also participated in workshops by Turkish artists and had a chance to meet Turkish students at schools they visited.
The tour ended in Ankara, the capital, where they visited the Mausoleum of Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, as well as the National War of Liberation Museum and the Museum on Anatolian Civilizations.
Since the program’s inception, Turkish Cultural Foundation, a U.S. nonprofit that promotes and preserves Turkish culture worldwide, has introduced 425 U.S. educators to Turkey’s cultural heritage.