CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. (Aug. 5, 2013)— Occupying a key geopolitical position at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Turkey has played an essential role in the western world. This week, CHQ examines Turkey’s history, culture, internal and external politics with the theme “Turkey: Model for the Middle East?” 


American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Michael Rubin introduces U.S.-Turkey relations on Monday.

Ibrahim Kalin, chief adviser to Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and a senior fellow at Georgetown’s Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, will speak Tuesday on his experiences in Turkish government leadership, interfaith relations in Turkey and his scholarship on Turkish perceptions of the West. 

Award-winning Turkish journalistNedim Sener will join Reuters columnistDavid Rohde in a conversation on Wednesday, focusing on internal Turkish politics and freedom of expression and the press. 

Özlem Denizmen, head of social investments for the large Turkish conglomerate Doğuş Group, will provide remarks Thursday on the business climate in Turkey — the important space it occupies in terms of global trade in particular — and her efforts to educate Turkish women on financial literacy.

On Friday, to finish the week,Kemal Kirişci, director of the Turkey Project at the Brookings Institution's Center on the United States and Europe, will lecture on how Turkey can be held up as an example to the Middle East, and on the state of its relationship with the U.S. and Europe.

 Interfaith Lectures

The Interfaith Lectures during Week Eight will explore “Turkey: Crossroads of Many Faiths.” This week’s lectures will help discover why, while claiming to be a secular state, religion is still the heart of Turkey.

Ambassador Martin Indyk, vice president and director of the Foreign Policy Program at The Brookings Institution will begin the interfaith lectures on Monday with Geoffrey Kemp, director of regional security programs at the Center for the National Interest. 

Soner Cagaptay, the Beyer Family fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute, will share his thoughts on Tuesday.

Affiliate Scholar at the Center for European Studies (CES) at Harvard University Elizabeth H. Prodromou, will deliver her address about Turkey on Wednesday.

She is a recognized expert on issues of religion and security, religion and U.S. foreign policy, democracy, human rights, religious freedom and religious radicalism in America.

Ori Z. Soltes, Goldman Professional Lecturer in Theology and Fine Arts at Georgetown University, will speak on Thursday. Having spent a lifetime wrestling with questions that resonate through the history of the human experience, his dynamic teaching, lecturing, curating and writing reflect a broad series of interests and a unique ability to combine them in unusual ways that are thought-provoking and intellectually exciting.

Zeki Saritoprak, a native of Turkey, is the Nursi Chair in Islamic Studies at John Carroll University. He is the founder and former president of the Rumi Forum for Interfaith Dialogue in Washington, DC. Author of over thirty academic articles and encyclopedia entries on topics in Islam, he has served as guest editor for issues of the journals Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations and Muslim World.

Throughout Week Eight, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, founder and chairman of The Cordoba Initiative, will present a Muslim Thought Series from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday in the Hall of Philosophy. Co-sponsored by the Department of Religion, the series will explore Sufism — the spiritual component of Islam — and the 13th-century Sufi mystic and theologian Rumi as a complement to the week's exploration of "Turkey: Model for the Middle East?." 

The Cordoba Initiative is a multi-national, multi-faith organization dedicated to improving Muslim-West relations.  Rauf has engaged in outreach to moderates of all faith traditions, engaging in interfaith dialogue and forging connections of trust and mutual support. As Imam of Masjid al-Farrah, a mosque located in Lower Manhattan, he preached a message of understanding between people of all faith traditions.

Morning lectures are held in the Amphitheater weekdays at 10:45 a.m. Interfaith Lectures are held in the Hall of Philosophy weekdays at 2 p.m.  Afternoon lecture themes often complement the themes of the 10:45 a.m. lectures but capture a different angle of vision.

Day tickets are available for purchase at the Main Gate Welcome Center Ticket Office on the day of your visit. Morning tickets grant visitors access to the grounds from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. for $20.

Afternoon tickets grant access from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. for $13.

Combined morning/afternoon passes (7 a.m. to 8 p.m.) are $33. For additional ticketing information, visit or call 716-357-6250.

Chautauqua Institution is a summer community located in southwestern New York State on Chautauqua Lake. It offers a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship, educational programs, and recreational activities. Each summer the Institution hosts over 2,200 events and 100,000 guests. For more information please visit,