It’s been a great first week in Istanbul (as I’m sure you can tell from Minh and Geneveieve’s blogs of the first few days of the project!)
Yesterday was an awesome day. We went to the Turkish Coalition of America (TC), which, in my opinion, was one of the coolest places we’ve been so far. TC is an institute that promotes education of Turkish history, culture, literature, culinary arts, and many other things. TC also gives many different scholarships and grants to people that have a passion for studying the Turkish culture. The institute is a museum that displays all types of different things (and everything is for sale!), ranging from artwork, antiques and jewels, to olive oil and jam. The coolest part of the tour was the lunch! The entire fourth floor of the institute was ovens and cooking stations, where you could watch the bakers make fresh bread, baklava, Turkish salads, and tons of other delicious food. Once again, we were completely over full by the end of the meal!
After TC, we went to the Koc company, which is the biggest holding company in Turkey, and ranked in the top 250 in the world. We listened to a few different guest speakers, and learned even more about the Turkish economy, and Koc company and predictions for future growth. The grounds and facilities at Koc were stunning, and even had a tennis court on the property!
Yesterday was also the birthday of one of the girls on the trip, so last night we had a big celebration. We did a girls dinner at an Italian restaurant (we have been loving immersing ourselves in the Turkish culture….but when we saw a pizza place, we just couldn’t say no!!). Then, we met all the boys and Professor Akyuz at a rooftop bar near the hotel, and continued our Turkish immersion!