After completing my Ph.D. in the US, I worked for Kadir Has University in Istanbul, Turkey, as a postdoctoral researcher. It was a great opportunity for me to look into Istanbul's many aspects. Since I conducted a research project on urban tourism, I would like to introduce the beautiful city of Istanbul in three aspects;
Istanbul as a city where the East and the West meet
As well known, Istanbul is situated on the Bosphorus Strait where Asia meets Europe, and so a part of the city belongs to Asia and the other to Europe. Because its location is strategically important, Christian culture flourished at one time and Islamic culture flourished at another. As a result, we can see ruins of diverse cultural heritage. Currently, the city has a colorful cultural identity because of all the tourists coming in from all over the world. Although Islam is currently the state religion in Turkey, it is rare that people are compelled by the religion in Istanbul, a city that has experienced the exchange of many different cultures throughout its long history. Understanding and respect for cultural identity are considered more important than any other values.
Istanbul as a city where past and future meet
As a center of various dynasties in history, Istanbul is well known for its numerous historical monuments, such as Sultanahmet, Aya Sophia, Topkap Palace and Dolmabahce Palace. The whole city was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so it is no surprise you can see traces of history all over the city. However, Istanbul is Turkey's largest city with a dense population of nearly 20 million people and is the economic and industrial center of the region. Numerous multinational companies have a presence in new towns such as Taksim and Levent, and the large shopping malls here are on the cutting edge of fashion. Well known for its high educational enthusiasm, there are also several world famous universities in Istanbul such as Istanbul Technical University and Istanbul University, and with their renowned scholars and high-level research, these universities are crowded with students from around the world.
Turkey as a brother country
Turkey is historically recognized as a brother nation to us, owing to the alliance between Goguryeo and Gokturk in ancient times, and the Turkish participation in the Korean War in the last century. In fact, Turks are similar to Koreans in many respects. The two peoples are energetic, playful, emotional, friendly and quick-tempered. Korea made a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Turkey in 2013, and with it, the trade volume has been growing rapidly. Furthermore, the plants of Korean large enterprises including Hyundai Motors, LG Electronics and POSCO have been located in areas near Istanbul, and they are playing a role in the production base of Europe. In recent years, there is a claim that the ends of the Silk Road were Istanbul and Gyeongju Korea. This has been getting academic support. The Istanbul-Gyeongju World Culture Expo was held in 2013, as well, Korean dramas and K-pop have are growing in popularity day by day due to the fever of the Korean Wave.
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School of Social Science