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Newsletter #3 April 15, 2010 Merhaba Yale Ambassadors!

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April 15, 2010
Merhaba Yale Ambassadors!
More travelers! More events! And more ideas! We have it all and you can read about it in this Newsletter. Let’s start with the new travelers. Welcome to Julia Vance Carter ’75 (, John Scales ’54 (YaleGALE Task Force member/email –, Joan Scales (, and Connie Spencer ‘ 82 MArch (
New event - We now have the opportunity to start our collaboration with Bilkent University alumni in May. YaleGALE and Bilkent University Alumni will join forces to celebrate around the NY-Turkish Day Parade. Bilkent actually has a float in the parade and alumni are welcome to join in – how cool is that! Thanks to Marv Berenblum for helping to coordinate this event. Watch for details of an evening reception at a Turkish restaurant in New York probably May 21st or May 23rd.
Here’s what else you will find in this Newsletter:
The Extension 2

Update on the World Alumni Leadership Conference 2

Spotlight on Bahçeşehir, Koç and Sabanci Universities 3

A bit about Istanbul 5

Get in YaleGALE Gear 7

What did you say? A short guide to Turkish 7

What you need to do NOW 8

Future Newsletters 8

The Extension Itinerary 9

Istanbul (Not Constantinople) 13

Indemnification and Photo Release 14

The Extension
Resit Ergener1 ’74, historian, tour guide and the key organizer of the main itinerary, has designed a spectacular extension that is only possible because of his connections in the archaeological world. Join some of the other travelers on this special archaeological insider’s tour with Resit and Gul Pulhan ’00 PhD., Assistant Professor of Archaeology at Koç University as your guides. The illustrated itinerary for the extension is at the end of this Newsletter and on the website.
Day 1: Fly to Diyarbakır. Sightseeing. Drive to Hasankeyf, visit the Hasankeyf area and the excavation sites soon to be covered under the waters of a dam. Overnight in Batman at a basic hotel.

Day 2: Drive to Mardin,a picturesque city. Visit nearby Syriac monasteries. Overnight in a boutique hotel that was converted from an old Mardin home.

Day 3: Drive to Urfa . Visit Gobekli tepe on the way – see the oldest known monuments made by hunter gatherers. See the Newsweek article of Feb. 19 about this phenomenal site at Visit the sites at Harran and other attractions in Urfa. Fly to Istanbul. Overnight in Istanbul. OR we can add a day and drive to Gaziantep to see Zeugma Museum – then fly to Istanbul
In order to make this extension possible, we need a minimum of 5 participants so please let me know by May 1 if you would like to be part of the group. (Price quoted in euros just to make life confusing…)

Minimum of 5 people: € 1010 per person

Minimum of 10 people: €685 with small bus or €785 with large bus

Minimum of 15 people: €650 per person

Flight: Estimated €205

Single Supplement: €125

Update on the World Alumni Leadership Conference
Thanks to the efforts of the IT department2 of AYA, participants in the Conference can now register on–line! We haven’t announced this to the Turkish or IARU universities yet but we encourage you to test it out by visiting (When it asks how you are paying for lunch, just check cash at the door – your lunch is already included.) It would be great to have at least 20 people registered by the time we announce the site to the universities later this week. As a special feature, AYA also provided a webpage with a list of participants which you can access at to make sure your registration was recorded.
We are very pleased to announce that we have an additional sponsoring university: Koç University based in Istanbul. In addition to making a contribution to the Conference and although our itinerary is already incredibly busy, Koç has invited us to a breakfast meeting on their campus about 40 minutes outside of Istanbul on July 19th before we start our day of sightseeing.3 They will also have a booth in the Exhibition Hall (as will Bahçeşehir, Bilkent, Bogaziçi, Cambridge, Sabanci and perhaps others.)
And if you want still more good news, John Scales ’54 has agreed to be the Chairman for the Conference and make the opening remarks to the participants on July 18th. John is a true Yale alumni leader from his leadership at the Yale Club of Pittsburgh to his involvement with the Yale Day of Service and his participation in the previous YaleGALE trips to Australia and Japan. John, thank you for taking on this additional responsibility!

Just a quick note about the Exhibition Hall – there will be at least 20 displays for the Conference participants to visit - how will we get them to move around and visit the different booths? We want them to be travelers so we will provide each person with a passport to be stamped or signed at each booth. While some booths will give out pins, pens, cookies or popcorn, others can provide raffle prizes based on their booth concept (do I hear any offers of participating in a Yale Educational Travel trip? or perhaps a Yale Athletics t-shirt) which will be raffled off to those who have handed in a passport at the end of the sessions. Some of you have already thought about what to hand-out or raffle but you are facing the problem of cost. Thanks to the generous sponsorship by the universities, YaleGALE can provide $100 (feel free to add more on your own) toward popcorn, cookies, pens, pins, hats, ties, photos, bags, etc.

Spotlight on Bahçeşehir, Koç and Sabanci Universities
Quick quiz: What three things do these three universities4 have in common?

  • they are in Istanbul

  • they will be hosting us during the YaleGALE program

  • they are all Foundation5 universities!

So what exactly is a foundation university? In the simplest terms a foundation university is equivalent to our private universities that are primarily funded by returns on an endowment and tuition. For most of the 20th century all universities in Turkey were government funded and managed. Then, in November 1981, Higher Education Law Number 2547 allowed non-profit foundations to establish universities.6 The law established the Higher Education Council (YOK), a twenty-two member autonomous organization that coordinates all universities and higher education institutions activities. Now YOK supervises and regulates all private universities. A subsequent law required that the standard of teaching and research in a private institution of higher education should be no less than that of the geographically closest public university. With this new framework, Bilkent University was established in 1984 jointly by three private foundations. There are now close to 50 foundation universities in Turkey.

Bahçeşehir University

Bahçeşehir University was founded in 1998 as a foundation university by Bahçeşehir Uğur Educational Institutions. Bahçeşehir University is aiming to take its place among the leading universities in the world with a strong academic staff, research and educational-instructional programs on an international level, study abroad opportunities and a modern technical infrastructure.

As a higher education institution dedicated to teaching, research, and service to our society, the mission of Bahçeşehir University is 1) to educate the leading work force of the future – those who have an inquiring mind and critical thinking ability sensitive to local and global issues; 2) to achieve the highest international standards; 3) to contribute to scientific, technological, and cultural knowledge; and 4) to educate strong supporters of universal ideas and values.

Bahçeşehir University expects to be a leading force regionally and nationally. It encourages its students to be productive, investigative and intellectual individuals, to be respectful of human rights and freedoms, to have a sense of social responsibility to serve humanity, and to think creatively in line with universal knowledge and values.
There are six faculties at Bahçeşehir University; Economics & Administrative Sciences, Communication, Engineering, Arts and Sciences, Law and Architecture, two institutions; Institute of Science and Institute of Social Sciences, and a Vocational school. The medium of instruction at the university is English.

Bahçeşehir University organizes many certificate programs and conferences, and hosts various cultural events during the year as a service to and for the intellectual development of the community.

Koç University

Koç University is a private, nonprofit institution founded in 1993. The University is supported by the financial resources of the Vehbi Koç Foundation, set up by Vehbi Koç, a leading Turkish businessman, “to serve humanity by increasing the number of people who can be of service to the Turkish nation,” and is committed to the pursuit of excellence in both teaching and research.

In October 2000 Koç University moved to its permanent campus at Rumeli Feneri, Sarıyer, Istanbul located on a hill close to the city but far removed from the distractions of city life. It sprawls over a sixty-two acre site.

Koç University's mission is;

  • to produce the most capable graduates by providing a world-class education

  • to advance the frontiers of knowledge and

  • to contribute to the benefit of Turkey and humanity at large.

Koç University expects its graduates to be leaders in their respective professions, critical thinkers, creative individuals able to operate in any environment, to adhere to the highest ethical standards, to feel social responsibility and to be committed to the values of democracy. Koç’s research will contribute to advance universal knowledge and influence the intellectual, technological, economic and social developments in Turkey. It is hoped that Koç University will be recognized as a model in Turkey; and that its students, faculty, educational and research programs will be recognized worldwide within the next decade.

Because it is a fairly young institution, Koç has an alumni body of only 4,865, with 3,549 students from undergraduate programs, and 1,219 from its graduate programs. Some of the firms that employ the University's graduates are: American Life, BP, Citibank, Coca Cola, Pfizer, HSBC, PricewaterhouseCoopers, McKinsey, Koç Holding.

Graduates who have chosen to continue their education in graduate programs have been accepted to top schools. 87% of those graduates have received full scholarships from PhD programs at many world leading institutions including Princeton, Harvard, MIT, Berkeley, Chicago, and the London School of Economics.

Sabancı University

Sabancı University is a private research institution. Founded in 1996, it is the only college in Turkey that offers a liberal arts undergraduate curriculum. The University began its first academic year on October 20, 1999. Sabanci is a small and highly focused university with 3,008 undergraduates and 684 graduate students, maintaining a strong emphasis on social and natural sciences. Sabanci has been both applauded and criticized for its approach on undergraduate education, for adopting the statement of academic freedom, and for hosting controversial faculty members.

The University philosophy is that it will be participative, self managing, financially self-sustaining and flexible at all levels and functions (research, education and administration). Within these guidelines, the University will be appropriately responsible and responsive to all stakeholders including; students, their families, faculty, staff, administrators and society-at-large.

Research, education and training will be based on “learning to learn”, interdisciplinary collaboration, teamwork, fundamentals, creativity and ideal-seeking. The University, through its curriculum and activities, will focus on identifying and solving current problems and challenges as well as responding to future socio-technical needs.

The University directs its research efforts primarily towards applied and strategic research with the goals of advancing knowledge, supporting teaching, and contributing to the progress of the community.

The University cultivates its existing local and regional comparative advantages to generate, articulate, uncover and develop leading-edge knowledge in order to create competitive competencies within an international and global context. The University takes active initiative to form and to select international and global educational and research networks.

A bit about Istanbul
One of the greatest joys of traveling is to discover a city on its own terms – and that is the only way to learn about Istanbul. There is so much to see and do that no written description can do it justice. Following is some background about this amazing city   but nothing we can write will come close to what you will discover when we are there!7

Istanbul, historically also known as Byzantium and Constantinople, is the largest city in Turkey and fifth largest city in the world with a population of 12.8 million and is the cultural, economic, and financial center of Turkey. The city is located on the Bosphorus Strait in the northwest of the country and encompasses the natural harbor known as the Golden Horn. It extends outward on both the European (Thrace) and on the Asian (Anatolia) sides of the Bosphorus, and is the only metropolis in the world that is situated on two continents.

A bit of history

In its long history Istanbul has served as the capital city of the Roman Empire (330–395), the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire (395–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922). The city was chosen as the European Capital of Culture for 2010. The historic areas of Istanbul were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.

Byzantium is the first known name of the city. In 667 B.C., this Doric colony was founded by settlers from the city-state of Megara, and they named the colony after their king Byzas. After Roman emperor Constantine I (Constantine the Great) made the city the new eastern capital of the Roman Empire on 11 May 330, the city became widely known as Constantinopolis. The name Constantinople8 is found on commemorative coins as early as the 330s, and is first attested in official documents under emperor Theodosius II (408–450). It remained the principal official name of the city throughout the Byzantine period, and the most common name used for it in the West until the early 20th century.

The city has also been nicknamed “The City on Seven Hills” because the historic peninsula, the oldest part of the city, was built on seven hills (just like Rome), each of which bears a historic mosque.

  • The historic peninsula of old Istanbul corresponds approximately to the city limits of Constantinople in the 15th century; it comprises the districts of Eminönü and Fatih. This area lies on the southern shores of the Golden Horn, which separates the old city center from the northern and younger parts of the European side. The historic peninsula ends with the Theodosian Land Walls in the west. The peninsula is surrounded by the Sea of Marmara on the south and the entrance of the Bosphorus on the east.

  • North of the Golden Horn are the historical Beyoğlu and Beşiktaş districts, where the last Sultan's palace is located, followed by a chain of former villages such as Ortaköy and Bebek along the shores of the Bosphorus. On both the European and Asian sides of the Bosphorus, wealthy Istanbulites built luxurious chalet mansions, called yalı, which were used as summer residences.

  • The districts of Üsküdar (ancient Chrysopolis) and Kadıköy (ancient Chalcedon) which are located on the Asian side were originally separate cities (like the district of Beyoğlu (medieval Pera) on the European side also used to be.) These cities have eventually been absorbed by Istanbul and have become its districts. Today, the Asian side of the city has numerous modern residential areas and business districts, and is home to around one-third of Istanbul's population.

A bit of religion, culture and economics

The religion with the largest community of followers in Turkey is Islam. Religious minorities include Greek Orthodox Christians, Armenian Christians, Catholic Levantines and Sephardic Jews. According to the 2000 census, there were 2,691 active mosques, 123 active churches and 26 active synagogues in Istanbul. Istanbul was the final seat of the Islamic Caliphate, between 1517 and 1924, when the Caliphate was dissolved and its powers were handed over to the Turkish Parliament. On September 2, 1925, the tekkes and tarikats were banned, as their activities were deemed incompatible with the characteristics of the secular democratic Republic of Turkey; particularly with the secular education system and the laicist state's control over religious affairs through the Religious Affairs Directorate. Most followers of Sufism and other forms of Islamic mysticism practiced clandestinely afterwards, and some of these sects still boast numerous followers.

Today, the city generates 55% of Turkey's trade and 45% of the country's wholesale trade, and generates 21.2% of Turkey's gross national product. Istanbul contributes 40% of all taxes collected in Turkey and produces 27.5% of Turkey's national product.

Istanbul holds some of the finest institutions of higher education in Turkey, including more than 20 public and private universities. Most of the reputable universities are public, but in recent years there has also been an upsurge in the number of private universities. Istanbul University, founded in 1453, is the oldest Turkish educational institution in the city, while Istanbul Technical University (1773) is the world's third-oldest technical university dedicated entirely to engineering sciences. Other prominent state universities in Istanbul include Boğaziçi University, Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts, Yildiz Technical University and Marmara University. The major private universities in the city include Koç University, Sabancı University, Fatih University, Istanbul Commerce University, Bahçeşehir University, Yeditepe University, Kadir Has University, Doğuş University and Bilgi University.

A bit of fun

There are many night clubs, pubs, restaurants and taverns with live music in the city. The night clubs, restaurants and bars increase in number and move to open air spaces in the summer. The areas around Istiklal Avenue, Nişantaşı, Bebek and Kadıköy offer all sorts of cafés, restaurants, pubs and clubs as well as art galleries, theaters and cinemas. Babylon and Nu Pera in Beyoğlu are popular night clubs both in the summer and in the winter.

The most popular open air summer time seaside night clubs are found on the Bosporus, such as Sortie, Reina and Anjelique in the Ortaköy district. Q Jazz Bar in Ortaköy offers live jazz music in a stylish environment.

Venues such as Istanbul Arena in Maslak and Kuruçeşme Arena on the Bosporus frequently host the live concerts of famous singers and bands from all corners of the world.

Get into YaleGALE Gear
What would a Yale trip (or any other Yale activity) be without some cool logo wear? You can order polo shirts, hats, bags or anything else at Lands’ End with our spectacular logo by visiting our store at:
And for those of you who are new to YaleGALE, yes, people really do wear the shirts (hats, jackets, etc.) on the trip!

What did you say? A short guide to Turkish
Turkish has 29 letters and for all you linguistic specialists out there it belongs to the Altaic language family.9 The letters are: a, b, c, ç, d, e, f, g, ğ, h, ı, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, ö, p, r, s, ş, t, u, ü, v, y, z

The three “ironclad” rules of Turkish pronunciation:

1. Every letter is pronounced!

2. Each letter has only one sound!

3. Two or more letters are never combined to make a new or different sound

Most letters in Turkish are familiar to English speakers and have similar pronunciations, but here are the ones that are a bit different or non-existent in English:

ı   - (undotted) i as in girl (i   - (dotted) i as in machine; sometimes i as in pin)

ö   - ur as in burn

ü   - eu as in feud

ç   - c as in cello (just to be confusing, c is pronounced like j as in rejoin)

ş   - s as in sugar

And the rule breaker ğ   - silent - lengthens preceding vowel (g is always hard as in go)

The Places Where You'll Mess Up
We English-speakers are so used to the weirdness of English—'silent' letters, 'understood' sounds, digraphs such as 'ch' and 'sh,' and even 'silent digraphs' such as 'gh' (as in 'through')—that we make the mistake of looking for two-letter combinations in Turkish, where they don't exist. And that tricky ğ - don't worry - you'll probably be fine if you simply ignore the ğ. Act as though it weren't there. Whatever you do, DON'T pronounce it as though it were a 'real' 'g'.

What everyone needs to do right now!

  • A new document to submit – Yale has asked each participant (or guardian of a participant) to sign an indemnity and photo release form. It is attached at the end of this Newsletter, it is a separate attachment to the email and it is available on the website. We must have this form from you (by mail to AYA, fax 203-432-8144 or scanned signature email to for you to be part of our activities so please send it in NOW with

  • (For new travelers) Your picture to Ann Griffith at AYA by mail or email to NOW

  • Keep working with your Exhibition Teammate(s) for your booth

  • Send a written contribution for the Resource Book to Kathy via e-mail by May 1. The Resource Book information can be found at (username: yaletraveler and password: yalegale)

  • Book your flights and let me know if you plan to be on the group bus from the airport in Istanbul on July 17

  • Let me know if you would like extra nights at the Conrad Hotel in Istanbul ($200/room)

  • Let me know if you would like to join the special post - tour trip to Southern Turkey – an amazing opportunity!

And prepare for your credit card to be charged on May 1 for the next payment of $900 per person!

And if you are suffering from information overload, feel free to contact:
Kathy ( 917 693-6543),

Ilona ( 203-436-3632) or

Mark ( 203-432-1940)
Future Newsletters
Watch for more important information about the trip in the next few newsletters!

  • Information on presentations and workshops with the Universities

  • More about the World Alumni Leadership Conference

  • Information on Bilkent University and Yaşar University

  • Information on Ankara and Izmir

  • Optional side tours

  • Weather, dress code and packing information

  • Introductions to the team in Turkey

  • More for Teens and ‘Tweens

Can’t wait!

Kathy and Mark, and

The Global Alumni Leadership Exchange Task Force

Paula Armbruster ’64MA

Marv Berenblum ’56

Bob Catapano-Friedman ’

Ilona Emmerth ’98

Resit Ergener ’74

Ed Greenberg ’59

Chris Hill ’99

Mehmet Kahya ’73

Gordy Meyers ’49

Glenn Murphy ’71

Kathy Murphy ’71

John Scales ’54

Catherine Terry Taylor ’83

Barbara Wagner ’73

Engin Yenidunya ’02

Minimum of 5 people € 1010 per person

Minimum of 10 people: €685 with small bus or €785 with large bus

Minimum of 15 people €650 per person

Flight: Estimated €205

Single Supplement: €125
Join some of the other travelers on this special archaeological insider’s tour with Resit Ergener ’74, historian and tour guide (and our key organizer of the main itinerary) and Gul Pulhan ’00 PhD., Assistant Professor of Archaeology at Koc University as your guides.
Day 1: Fly to Diyarbakır. Sightseeing. Drive to Hasankeyf, visit the Hasankeyf area and the excavation sites soon to be covered under the waters of a dam. Overnight in Batman at a basic hotel.
Gre Amer is a multi-period site located on the east bank of the Garzan River, an eastern tributary of the Tigris River in southeastern Turkey. The mound is within the proposed Ilisu Dam Reservoir area and if the construction of the long-contested dam goes ahead the site of Gre Amer will be flooded completely. The first season of salvage excavations carried out in summer 2009 by the Koc University Department of Archaeology and History of Art in cooperation with the Mardin Archaeological Museum.
Around four hectares, Gre Amer constitutes the largest attested settlement in the Garzan River Valley. The 2009 excavations unearthed nearly one thousand square meters at four different locations of the mound with the aim of understanding the settlement chronology and the nature of the site. A road cut through the site in the 1950s to provide access to nearby oil fields had destroyed part of the archaeological deposit, yet revealed a large section of the mound.
Two superimposed well-preserved burnt levels that were visible in the section explored horizontally in multiple areas. Preliminary analyses of the stone-architecture and rich pottery data including numerous in situ whole pots, combined with metal, baked-clay, glass and obsidian artifacts places the two burnt levels into the Early Iron Age and Late Bronze Age horizons of the Upper Tigris Region. Two further (unburnt) structural levels above the upper burnt level indicate later Iron Age occupation.
The hand-made, grooved and incised bowls, the typical markers of the Early Iron Age in Eastern Anatolia and in the Upper Tigris, painted jars with geometric designs, large jars with a variety of applied rope motives as well as unique examples of turquoise glazed ware and red-brown wash ware establish strong parallels both with the Ilisu Salvage Projects along the Tigris and with sites in northern Syria such as Sabi Abyad and Tell Brak.
Partial recovery of a stone fortification wall, combined with the presence of a cuneiform inscribed ceramic bowl fragment and sealed jar fragments raises the possibility of a Middle Assyrian walled-farm, a dunnu, for the Late Bronze Age (ca.1300-1200 BC) period of the site.

One of the longest fortifications of middle ages, built during 11th – 13th centuries. Diyarbakır city walls are 5,5 km. (3 miles) long. Several sources state that only the Great Wall of China is longer, but the walls of Constantinople were 18 km long. The dark stone used in construction is local basalt. There are nearly 80 towers, all standing with the exception of six. The roads entering the city from four gates intersect at the central market of Diyarbakır.


The Great Mosque of Diyarbakır is regarded as the oldest mosque in Turkey and one of the oldest in the world. The tradition is that the mosque was converted from a church in 639 when Diyarbakır was captured by Muslims. This was probably the Church dedicated to St. Thomas. In 770, the building was being jointly used by Christians and Muslims.


Hasankeyf is a very old settlement, probably the Ilansura mentioned in the Mari Tablets which date back to 1800 BCE. Nine civilizations have prevailed at Ilusu during the course of four millenniums. There are cave churches, mosques and tombs, reflecting the rich heritage of the site. The rich historical heritage will be covered with water if Ilısu dam is completed.

Day 2: Drive to Mardin,a picturesque city. Visit nearby Syriac monasteries. Overnight in a boutique hotel that was converted from an old Mardin home.

Syriacs descend from the ancient communities of Mesopotamia. They now have communities spread throughout the world. Christ spoke Aramaic, which is the language of Syriacs. Deyrulzafaran is the most important sanctuary of the Syriac Christians in the Mardin area. The oldest unit of the monastery is an underground chamber built by sun worshippers, now known as mahzen (“cellar” in Turkish). A Christian Monastery was built on the pagan chamber during the ninth century. Tombs of several Syriac bishops and patriarchs are at Dayrulzafaran. Wedding ceremonies and funeral rites are still being held at the monastery.


Also known as Deyrulumur, The Monastery of St. Gabriel, is the oldest functioning Syriac Orthodox monastery. It is located on the Tur Abdin plateau near Midyat. The monastery was founded in 397. Several monks, nuns, lay workers and guests reside at the monastery, which is also the seat of the metropolitan bishop of Tur Abdin. Mor Gabriel is active in training and ordaining Syriac religious specialists.


Capital of the province bearing the same name, Mardin is known for its position on a mountain overlooking the plains of northern Syria (the name ‘Mardin’ means fortress in Syriac) and for its unique and indigenous Arab-style architecture. A walk through the streets of Mardin is a memorable experience.

Day 3: Drive to Urfa . Visit Gobekli tepe on the way – oldest known monuments made by hunter gatherers. See the Newsweek article of Feb. 19 about this phenomenal site at Visit the sites at Harran and other attractions in Urfa. Fly to Istanbul. Overnight in Istanbul. OR we can add a day and drive to Gaziantep to See Zeugma Museum – then fly to Istanbul


Probably the most fascinating archaeological site in Turkey and one of the most interesting in the world, Gobekli is the only known hunter gatherer monument. There are T shaped megaliths arranged in circles like at Stonehenge - but Gobekli is 9500 years older.

Harran, also known as Carrhae, was once a major trading, cultural, and religious center in northern Mesopotamia. Main attractions today are the traditional, circular mud brick houses designed like beehives. It is believed that the design of these houses has not changed for the past 3000 years. There are also the remains of the city walls and of the first Moslem university where during the late 8th and 9th centuries works of astronomy, philosophy, natural sciences and medicine were translated from Greek to Syriac by Assyrians, and then to Arabic.
Before monotheism, Harran was the centre of the worship of pagan moon-god Sin and home of the mysterious "Sabians." According to Genesis, Terah and his family lived at Harran for more than sixty years Christian, Jewish, and Muslim traditions agree that it was at Harran where Abraham, Terah’s son, received the command from God, which marked the start of monotheism to "go forth from your native land and from your father's house to the land that I will show you." It was at Harran where Abraham took Sarah and where Jacob sought refuge when Esau threatened him. Jacob would spend 20 years in Harran, working for his uncle Laban.


A Moslem tradition says that Urfa is the birth place of Abraham This tradition finds some support in the Old Testament. According to Genesis, Terah and his family had settled at Harran, after leaving a place called ‘Ur of the Chaldeans,’ which can be where modern Urfa is. Terah had three children: Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran, was born in Ur of the Chaldeans. If Haran was born in Ur (or Urfa), his brother Abraham could also have been born there. Interestingly, there is a cave in Urfa which was where, according to Muslim tradition, Abraham was born.


Mosaics, frescoes and sculpture (including a bronze statue of Mars, God of War) uncovered at Zeugma as well as other archaeological artifacts discovered in the Gaziantep region are on display at the Gaziantep Museum, commonly known as Zeugma Museum. The wing where Zeugma mosics are on display was opened in 2005 and houses one of the rare collections devoted almost exclusively to mosaics. The mosaics are of breathtaking beauty. “The Wedding of Dionysos,” “Okeanos and Tethis,” “Akhileus in Skyros,” “Drunk Dionysos,” “The Honeymoon of Dionysos,” “Women At breakfast,” “Dionysos banquet,” and “Perseus-Andromeda” are amongst the more famous panels on display. Symbol of the museum is the so called “Gypsy Girl” whose story is not known.


Zeugma is a historical settlement located in the modern province of Gaziantep, named after the ‘bridge of boats,’ (zeugma in Greek), which crossed the Euphrates there. Originally a Greek city, Zeugma came under Roman rule in 64 BC. The city was prosperous because of its location on the Silk Road, connecting Antioch to China. At its heyday, Zeugma had a population of approximately 80,000. Zeugma was destroyed at 256 BC by the Sassanids. Mosaic panels which decorated the walls and floors of wealthy Roman homes at Zeugma were recovered before the waters of Birecik Dam flooded the area and are now on display at Gaziantep Museum.

Song Lyrics: Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

Istanbul was Constantinople
Now it's Istanbul not Constantinople
Been a long time gone
Old Constantinople's still has Turkish delight
On a moonlight night

Evr'y gal in Constantinople

Is a Miss-stanbul, not Constantinople
So if you've date in Constantinople
She'll be waiting in Istanbul

Even old New York was once New Amsterdam

Why they changed it, I can't say

(People just liked it better that way)

Take me back to Constantinople
No, you can't go back to Constantinople
Now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople
Why did Constantinople get the works?
That's nobody's business but the Turks'



Even old New York was once New Amsterdam

Why they changed it, I can't say
(People just liked it better that way)

Take me back to Constantinople

No, you can't go back to Constantinople
Now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople
Why did Constantinople get the works?
That's nobody's business but the Turks'


AYA and YaleGALE Program
1. During your visit you are at all times responsible for care of your personal belongings and should ensure that any valuables are kept safe.
2. If you are accompanied by children you MUST ensure that they are at all times supervised by a responsible adult. Home stay hosts should NOT be asked to mind children. You are at all times responsible for supervision of your children.
3. Travel insurance is absolutely critical and it is your responsibility to ensure that you take out appropriate insurance cover, including for your property and health cover for yourself and other members of your party.
4. No University or sponsoring corporate entity holds itself out as a tour organizer and will only accept responsibility for personal injury if it would be liable as a result of negligence of the entity or that entity’s staff member.
5. During your visit to Turkey, you may see or be given written notices or verbal instructions issued by University or corporate sponsor organizers. Such directions are often for your own safety or comfort and you are expected to follow all such directions.

6. Please ensure that you advise the organizers if you have any special medical needs or issues of which the organizers should be aware for your own safety. This may include medical conditions such as allergies, asthma, chronic health conditions that may be aggravated or which may affect your ability to participate fully in planned activities.

I have read and understood the statement of expectations. I agree to comply with the expectations
I acknowledge that it may be necessary in the event of an emergency for first aid to be provided to me by staff or agents and consent to administration of first aid, if I am unconscious or otherwise am unable to grant consent at the time of the emergency.
I hereby release and indemnify the participating universities, their officers, staff, agents, and students and home stay hosts (“the Indemnified”) from and against all actions, claims, demands, costs and expenses (including the costs of defending or settling any action, claim or demand) made, sustained, brought or prosecuted against those indemnified in any manner based on any loss or damage to any person or loss or damage to property which may arise in connection with my visit to Turkey, excluding any liability in negligence of a university or sponsor arising from actions of such entity or an entity’s employee which result in personal injury. I agree that any such liability shall be reduced proportionally to the extent that my acts or omissions have contributed to the loss or injury. I acknowledge my responsibility to obtain and hold travel insurance to cover any loss or injury I or members of my party may suffer.



Full Name:


For consideration which I acknowledge, I irrevocably grant to Yale University, the sponsoring universities in Turkey and the International Alliance of Research Universities (collectively, “the Universities”) and the Universities’ assignees, licensees and successors the right to use my image, actions and name provided by me to the Universities (the “Material”) throughout the world in all forms including composite or modified representations and in all media hereafter known or devised, for educational, promotional or other purposes that support the Universities’ mission. I waive the right to inspect or approve versions of the Material used for such purposes.
I release the Universities and the Universities’ assigns, licensees and successors from any claims that may arise regarding the use of my image including any claims of defamation, invasion of privacy, or infringement of moral rights, rights of publicity or copyright. The Universities are permitted, although not obligated, to include my name as a credit in connection with the image. The Universities are not obligated to utilize any of the rights granted in this Agreement. I have read and understood this agreement and I am over the age of 18. This Agreement expresses the complete understanding of the parties.




Witness Signature:


If person named above is a minor, I represent and warrant that I am the parent or guardian of the minor named above and that I have the legal right to consent to and do consent to the terms and conditions of this release. If person named above is illiterate, third party witness please sign below.

Parent/Guardian/Witness Name:

Parent/Guardian/Witness Signature:

Parent/Guardian/Witness Address:


Please outline any medical conditions or issues that may affect your visit and which

we should be aware of in relation to your health or health of accompanying children


Medical Condition:



Describe first aid measures if relevant:

1 More about Resit in another Newsletter

2 Thanks to Colleen Whelan and her team (David DeMichele specifically) for doing such a great and speedy job. And a quick mention and thank you to Cherie Gargano who is working on entering and maintaining all our data for this trip. More about Cherie in another Newsletter.

3 Yes, it will have to be a very early morning so they do not expect everyone to participate but they are eager to be part of the YaleGALE program.

4 The fact that the information in this Newsletter comes from the English language version of each university website does not count!

5 Bilkent University, our host university in Ankara is also a Foundation university.

6 For many decades the Constitution stated that universities could only be established by the State through an act of parliament.

7 Our tours will show you the highlights of the city as well as some very special insider opportunities that we have not even attempted to describe here.

8 OK. Let’s get it out of the way now - The song was originally sung by The Four Lads in 1953 not by a Yale group. The lyrics are provided at the end of the Newsletter after the itinerary for the extension…

9 According to wikipedia, technically Altaic is a disputed language family that is generally held by its proponents to include the Turkic, Mongolic, Tungusic, and Japonic language families and the Korean language isolate. These languages are spoken in a wide arc stretching from northeast Asia through Central Asia to Anatolia and eastern Europe (Turks, Kalmyks). The group is named after the Altai Mountains, a mountain range in Central Asia. Too much information if you ask me…

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