Turkish American Friendship Society of US

OKUMUS / TAFSUS Fellowships

Many people in the US know very little about Turkey, its people, culture, history, art, music or food. The purpose of the Okumus/TAFSUS Fellowships is to provide teachers a 2 week travel opportunity to Turkey so that they can experience first hand what the country has to offer, and use this experience for teaching in their classrooms. The Okumus/TAFSUS Fellows also helps support the Portrait of Turkey program for select high school students and the Teacher Workshops on Turkey by teaching or participating in the sessions.

TAFSUS recognizes that a teacher teaches thousands of students in his/her lifetime and that our educational programs on Turkey are a long term investment which will bear benefits over many generations. By going to Turkey, all educators, along with curriculum directors, high school principals and deputy principals, gain an invaluable insight and thus, are able to provide to their students an accurate image and correct facts about this country.

Some recent examples of projects launched by Okumus/TAFSUS Fellows upon their return to the US include:

  • The play "The Crescent and the Star", performed by Friends' Central School students about the end of the Ottoman Empire and the emergence of Modern Turkey
  • Turkish Day events at various schools, such as Harriton High School, West Philadelphia Catholic High School and others
  • Various Turkish Ceramics and Art projects
  • Teaching projects on Turkish historical figures such as Nasrettin Hoca and Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi
  • Writing contests on Ataturk and his influence on Turkey
  • Photography Exhibits on Turkey at school lobbies and websites
  • Turkish Culture Day at the UPenn Museum

The direct benefit to the Turkish American community is that for generations to come, accurate images and facts about Turkey and its people will be taught by teachers to American children based on first hand knowledge of Turkey. Helping to initiate and support educational programs on Turkey is one of the ways that TAFSUS is able to fulfill its mission to promote friendship and understanding between Turkish and American communities, while ensuring that Turkish Americans, and particularly their children, feel proud of their Turkish heritage.

List of 2011 Fellows

NameSchoolSubject Taught
Mimma-Marie CammarataSterling High School
Somerdale, NJ
Italian I II III (Honors) and IV (Honors)
Tara Ann Carter John Bartram High School,
Philadelphia, PA
Honors Literature and Honors English
Barry KirznerKohelet Yeshiva High School,
Merion Station, PA
Midrashah Hebrew Junior College,
Cherry Hill, NJ
World History, AP U.S. History and Conflicts in the Middle East

Comments from the teachers who won the 2011 Turkey Fellowships and went to Turkey for 2 weeks :

I was very proud recipient of the Turkey fellowship which allowed me to travel to Turkey and experience that incredible country. As a teacher of 9th and 10th grade world history, and as a teacher of special course on conflicts in the Middle East, I gained so much information that will help my students that I hardly know where to begin to organize my knowledge."

Barry Kirzner
Kohelet Yeshiva High School

I am writing this letter to express my sincerest gratitude for selecting me to be part of the Okumus/TAFSUS 2011 Fellowship. This extraordinary opportunity allowed me to see the beautiful country of Turkey and bring back many artifacts that I can use to effectively teach about Turkey in all my courses. It really was a once in a lifetime trip."

Mimma-Marie Cammarata,
Sterling High School

Your generosity allowed me my first encounter with travel abroad. The sites I toured and the kind, friendly people I met have forever changed my world-view. I hope to continue traveling and experience more cultures around the world; however, I am sure my first experience will always be the most sentimental and valuable to me."

Tara Ann Carter,
John Bartram High School

List of 2010 Fellows

NameSchoolSubject TaughtGrades Taught
Danyella Lala Pennsbury High School East,
Fairless Hills, PA
ArtGrades 9-12
Kevin Nolen Penncrest High School,
Media, PA
Global StudiesGrade 9
Beth ZigmontRadnor Middle School,
Radnor, PA
Science/TechGrade 8

Comments from the teachers who won the 2010 Turkey Fellowships and went to Turkey for 2 weeks :

Thank you for making it possible for me to experience the rich history and culture of Turkey. I am amazed by the various ruins and landscapes of this country.

In an Art I class students will design a tile using repetition of flowers, trees and birds based on Ottoman designs. The lesson will incorporate the Elements and Principles of Art such as line, shape, space, color, balance, repetition and unity. The skills practiced will include drawing and painting.

Thank you again for this wonderful opportunity to experience Turkey."

Danyella Lala
Pennsbury High School East

I found the trip to be a deeply rewarding experience. As a social studies teacher, I deeply appreciate the opportunity to gain first hand experiences that will greatly enrich my curriculum. There are so many things that I gained form this trip that I couldn't possibly include them all in this letter.

Lessons on Turkey have long been included in my Global Studies curriculum. Traditionally, I have taught about geography, history and the modern issues facing Turkey. My experiences on this trip will greatly enrich these lessons. I was thrilled to sail the Bosphorus and Dardanelles, tour the Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace, and visit Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's Mausoleum. In my class, I have always emphasized how Ataturk transformed Turkey into a modern nation, but it was helpful to see the results of this transformation fir myself and hear the Turkish perspective on modern history and the issues that Turkey currently faces."

Kevin Nolan
Penncrest High School

I would like to extend my sincere appreciation and gratitude to you for affording me the opportunity to travel to Turkey on an educational fellowship in conjunction with the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia. If it were not for your generosity, I do not know that I otherwise would ever have had the chance to travel to this country and learn about its rich history and culture.

I am anxious to return to school in September and share my travel experiences with my students, as well as enhance our various studies with the knowledge I have gained as a result of my trip to Turkey.

....Thanks again for your generosity and commitment to supporting education through cultural immersion. I am fortunate and grateful to have been extended this once in a lifetime opportunity."

Beth Zigmont
Radnor Middle School

List of 2009 Fellows

NameSchoolSubject TaughtGrades Taught
Mona KolskyShawmont SchoolSocial Studies, Literature/RELA5th/8th
Thomas RendulichRadnor Middle SchoolIntegrated Social Studies,
Language Arts and Science
Zahida MohammedSouth Philadelphia High SchoolESOL, World History9th-12th
Rebecca Damsker GulnacStern Hebrew High SchoolWorld History I and II, AP Psychology9th - 12th

Comments from the teachers who won the 2009 Turkey Fellowships and went to Turkey for 2 weeks :

Thank you for the extraordinary opportunity to travel through the magnificent country of Turkey. This was truly the experience of a lifetime, professionally and personally. This was a unique experience that will transform the way I teach about Turkey. I've gathered knowledge, experience, sights, sounds, smells, artifacts, and photographs that will enrich my teaching."

Mona Kolsky
Shawmont School, Philadelphia, PA

I whole-heartedly believe that my students will benefit from my experience this summer. While I teach at an all Jewish high school, I was able to learn so much about the Muslim culture that I can relay to my students to help them understand other cultures and also show connections between the two. I was able to learn about Turkey's relationship with Israel and the way these two countries interact at the international level. Also, the more detailed history that I learned about the Ottoman Empire allows me to expand the depth the depth that I teach in this area and add a great lesson about the arts and architecture of that time period.

Rebecca Damsker Gulnac
Stern Hebrew High School, Philadelphia, PA

While I thoroughly enjoyed all that I learned about Turkey's ancient past, perhaps I was even more struck by Turkey's fascinating modern history. Before this trip, I knew very little about modern Turkey except what I learned in news stories here in the United States. Not only was our tour guide tremendously knowledgeable about ancient Turkey, but he was also well-read and eager to teach us about Turkey's last century. I was especially fascinated by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and his vision for a modern Turkey. He reminded me much of our George Washington for both his military prowess and the visionary leadership he employed to usher in a modern, progressive, secular Turkey from its deeply traditional Ottoman roots. What a hero he was!.

Tom Rendulich
Radnor Middle School, Wayne, PA

Since I co-teach a world history class and we already teach Greek history, Roman history and the history of the religion of the Ottomans we can readily expand our curriculum by including more relevant information to the existing course work. The history of the Ottomans can be explored more fully and can be taught in greater detail. I also teach an American culture course and for this course I will be able to use current events from daily life in comparing and contrasting the past and present culture of Turkey to that of the United States.

Zahida Mohammed
South Philadelphia High School, Philadelphia, PA

Comments from the teachers who won the 2008 Turkey Fellowships and went to Turkey for 2 weeks :

Thank you so much for supporting my visit to Turkey earlier this month. I knew from the itinerary that it was going to be a remarkable trip, but my imagination fell far short the reality of the experience. Although it is impossible to know a country in sixteen days, when I returned to Istanbul towards the end of the journey, I felt I was revisiting an old friend. I could find my way around the city; I felt comfortable there: I could even wheel-and-deal in the amazing Grand Bazaar. When I study Istanbul: Memories and the City by Orhan Pamuk with my students next spring I will be able to examine the memoir much more from the point of view of an insider - to say nothing of my wonderful photographs of the city. I know from past experience that my students, in turn, will participate more actively as a result of my own personal involvement.

Spencer C.G. Gates
Senior High School English Literature Teacher - Westtown School, Westtown, PA.

"I am writing to thank you for your generosity in allowing teachers like myself to experience a truly wonderful culture and history in Turkey. Without doubt, the understanding I have obtained about the country and its people will enhance the education I provide students for many years to come.

I teach a Current World course which focuses on modern international issues. In class discussions, I have often referenced Turkey as one of the few Muslim societies that have sought western modernity while keeping a very meaningful Islamic faith. But without going further, this idea can be lost on many students. Now, I will have the ability to fully explain Turkey's unique position in the world, and why its path is an important one to watch in the coming years."

Timothy E. MacBain
Senior High School Social Studies and History Teacher, Upper Dublin High School
Fort Washington, PA.

"WOW, what a glorious country! If there ever the perfect example of Eastern and Western cultures co-existing, Turkey is it!The large variety of people and styles was truly enlightening.

....Being a World History teacher, the Silk Road was the driving factor in much of world history for close to two thousand years.
.....Trade along the Silk Road in Turkey was of the utmost importance. The majesty of Istanbul where the Byzantine Empire fell, seeing the fortresses on the Bosphorus where the chain was laid to try to stop the Ottoman Invasion thus causing the influx of years of Roman knowledge and technology to flow to Western Europe influencing the Renaissance, navigation around Africa and Cristobel Colon to find another way to Asia can all be seen in Istanbul. Can I tell you I am a history teacher yet?
....This was once in a lifetime journey that will not only improve my classes, but has made me a much different person. I am truly grateful for this tremendous opportunity."

Robert Magyar
Social Studies and History Teacher, Fels High School, Philadelphia, PA.

"I am writing to extend my extreme appreciation for giving me such an exquisite opportunity to experience the wonder and charm of Turkey and its people. From the moment we arrived until the time we left, I felt comfortable and at ease. The professionalism of the tour guides and the travel agency, along with the graciousness and the generousness of the Turkish people, helped to make it a memorable trip.

....Overall, I would try to convey the enormous impact this trip had on me and extend that enthusiasm to my students and encourage them to do presentations on what they learned. I would have them work in groups on various topics about Turkey and the Silk Road. They would do research on their own and then put together a travel brochure. Next, I would give each group a presentation model, for example: government, museum, talk show, TV news, business, performance, etc. They would have a list of ten requirements they would have to fulfill, and relate them to the topic of Turkey. They would then present to the class what they learned in an exciting way from memory. We would videotape the presentations, too. I can't wait until this school year begins, and I thank you for the remarkable resources to teach Social Studies and for a magnificent trip."

Renee Allen
Social Studies Teacher, Baldi Middle School, Philadelphia, PA.

"I am writing this letter to express my sincere gratitude for having been given the opportunity to tour the beautiful country of Turkey. I cannot begin to express my most sincere gratitude for being selected and for having the opportunity to see first hand the magnificent and awe inspiring ancient ruins of Turkey.

The knowledge and experience I gained will be put to use in my classroom and will serve as a Social Studies Staff development for the upcoming school year.

.....The accommodations and food were excellent. Our tour guides were experienced, knowledgeable, and patient. They really know the history of the country. To supplement my knowledge, I purchased several books while I was there and will share them with our Social Studies teachers.

.....Once again, thank you for giving me this once in a lifetime opportunity to tour this most interesting and beautiful country."

Sophia M. Agbaje
English and Literature Teacher, Baldi Middle School, Philadelphia, PA.

Comments from the teachers who won the 2007 Turkey Fellowships and went to Turkey for 2 weeks :

"I had such a wonderful experience through the program in the 16 days we spent in Turkey. As a teacher of world cultures it is invaluable to actually travel to a country in order to accurately present the culture to students...What I hope this letter is conveying is how wonderful trips like this are to teachers and how much value they bring to hundreds of students each year...Again, thank you for this wonderful opportunity and for all your support."

Linda Flexon
Social Studies Teacher, PennCrest High School

The OKUMUS/T.A.F.S.U.S. fellowships will undeniably impart the greatest influence...the ability to enable my efforts over the past four years to 'full circle' in exploring cultural unity, diversity, and diffusion within a society whose global reflection is muted among the neighboring mayhem. I look forward to being an ambassador and advocate for my newly formed bonds of friendship with the people of Turkey and I thank you for making my vision....a reality

Amy Laslow
Visual Art and technology Education Teacher, Dover Air Force Base Middle School

"It has always been my experience in travel that the people of a country are what you remember the most. I have said to others since my return that Turkey is the first(of about sixteen)country I have visited in which I think I would like to live. I believe that best summerizes my experience in Turkey in July 2007".

Joseph Selfridge
Social Studies Chairman & Director International Studies West Philadelphia Catholic High School

"I want to share with you a bit about how I plan to use the information that I gained on this trip. It is easy to pinpoint that use. While I will utilize the photographic material, notes, and books as we assemble the revisions in the ninth grade curriculum for the upcoming academic year(especially ancient Greece and connections with the Roman Empire), I am also in the process of creating a photographic exhibit which will hang in the Special Gifts Gallery at my school. Not only will hundreds of parents see this collection as they attend Back to School Night in early September, but I will use it as a springboard for the ninth grade students' work on ancient Greece early in the year. While I do not teach tenth grade social studies, I will share some of the material with those teachers so they will be able to fresh their coverage of World War I and the Gallipoli experience. Finally, I will share my trip with members of my school's History Club for which I am the faculty sponsor."

Sarah L. Sharp, Ph.D
Social Studies Faculty, William Penn Charter School

"I have already started working on "Turkish Culture Day" celebration at Penn Museum to be held on Saturday, May 3, 2008 from 11:00a.m. until 4:30 p.m. There will be activities all over the museum. I have new ideas for art projects for children, new topics of presentations and workshop on archaeology, poetry readings, music, food demonstrations and film screenings. I made contact with Hamza Yildiz, a shop owner of carpets and kilims in Istanbul who also has a business in Philadelphia. I am inviting him to talk about Turkish rugs. I am also delighted that I will be able to organize teachers' workshops better."

Prema Deshmukh
Program Coordinator, International Classroom, Penn Museum

"I plan to incorporate this trip to Turkey in so many ways to enrich my students' understanding and appreciation of history and culture. As an educator, you never know when a little thing I experienced can become a story in the classroom. While each part of the journey brought with it a new lesson idea, one thing I will never forget is being able to witness the Turkish election firsthand. As a government teacher it was an opportunity to see democracy in action."

Christine Waychunas
Teacher World Cultures and Government, Avon Grove High School

Comments from the teachers who won the 2006 Turkey Fellowships and went to Turkey for 2 weeks :

"In all of my travels on this planet, I have never been so captivated by a country and its people. This fellowship surpassed my every expectation. ....I am working on infusing all that I have learned into our 2006-2007 curriculum. ..Since my return on August 26, 2006, I have dedicated myself to studying Turkish language and culture."

Christine Jawork, Harriton High School

"I know that my life has been enriched by my participation in this Study Tour of Anatolian Civilizations in the eigth year of okumus?TAFSUS Fellowships. I have begun the sharing of my experiences and interests with colleagues, family and friends and look forward to my work with students in the coming school year."

Rosemary Northcutt, John Story Jenk School

"As a Social Studies Department Chair, I will be sharing what I have learned with the twenty-three teachers that I supervise at Edison High School and also with the other fifty department chairs that I meet with monthly at our city-wide leadership council."

Stanley Markuszka, Social Studies Chair, Edison High School

"I hope to be able to instill in the students an appreciation for Turkey, a desire to visit, an understanding of the people of Turkey and Turkish American descent. Thank you so much for the opportunity to experience Turkey and its various aspects and to enable me to approach research skills with such dynamic topic."

Constance Streitz, Librarian, Our Lady of Mercy Academy

"Besides gaining tremendous professional experience, I have also been personally enriched. As both a lover and student of history I was constantly in awe of Turkey's rich and diverse history. Walking in the footsteps of Roman Emperors and Ottoman sultans was truly a dream come true. I want to thank you once again for making this possible."

Thomas Howard, Cherry Hill High School East

"What an absolute pleasure it was to have the opportunity to return to one of my favorite places in the world! ....I feel that my job, in addition to the project I am working on for students, is to bring to the world the way I feel about Turkey....I want to share my experiences and knowledge so that others are encouraged to explore Turkey both digitally and personally."

Mary Hausler, Russell H. Conwell Middle Magnet School

Photos of World Affairs Council and TAFSUS Reception

TAFSUS sponsored the WAC lunchoen with H.E. Nabi Sensoy, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to the United States on November 30, 2007. Below are some pictures from the event.

Photos from Turkey trip of TAFSUS/OKUMUS 2008 Fellows

Portrait of Turkey Program

Portrait of Turkey Program is for select high school students co-sponsored by TAFSUS and WAC. About 20 high school students completed the "The Portrait of Turkey" program in 2007. This is an intensive program of study on Turkey consisting of weekend courses often taught by previous Turkey fellow teachers.

A highlight of Portrait of Turkey of 2006 for the students was a visit to the Embassy of Turkey on May 17, 2006. Other student leaders from the World Affairs Council joined the group for the day-long trip to Washington. On entering the impressive embassy building, the students were directed to a professional meeting room to wait for their host, Ambassador Nabi Sensoy. The Ambassador was delayed at a meeting so one of his assistants began the briefing. After about five minutes, Ambassador Sensoy appeared through a private door and engaged in discussion with the students for almost one hour. Everyone in the group felt so privileged to spend that much time with an Ambassador. Below is a group picture taken at the Turkish Embassy.

2008 Portrait of Turkey Seminar

A group of diverse and highly motivated high school students from public, parochial and independent schools from the Greater Philadelphia area participated in the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia's innovative educational program, Portrait of Turkey, which is funded by TAFSUS. Through special focused sessions taught by Okumus/TAFSUS Fellow teachers, the students explored the Turks, their history, geography, literature, art and architecture, society and culture and US-Turkish relations, in history and current period.

As part of the Portrait of Turkey program students are responsible for a final project on some aspect of what they learned and this presentation is made to fellow students and teachers. The students illustrate their projects with power point presentations, artwork, food and related artifacts. The list of 2008 Portrait of Turkey presentations topics and presenters and some photos from the day are as follows: (March 6, 2008)

Jazzmin Boyd, Monique Gray, Tolulope Olusada Bodine H.S.I.A.Roman and Greek Fashion
Katarina Mattila The Agnes Irwin School Turkish Language
Nilofar Kazi Bodine H.S.I.A. Turkish People: Culture and Customs
Ronald Metellus Bodine H.S.I.A. Ankara: the Capital of Modern Turkey
Lin Ying Chen Lashida Barnes, Bodine H.S.I.A. Women's Role in Turkey
Marcus Biddle Webster Youth in the Country of Turkey
Hannah Dardashti Barrack Hebrew Academy AKP as the Current Government: Controversy about Islamism v. Secularism
Haftom Khasai West Catholic High School The Evolution of Turkish Weaponry
Amisha Vadalia Eastern Regional High School Turkish Police
Terez Varkonyi Friends Select School Turkish Kurds or Kurdish Turks
Marcus Onfroy West Catholic High School The Copper Age
Imma Dela Cruz, Teresa Ea Cherry Hill High School East The Evil Eye: Past and Present
Christina Williams - Potter West Catholic High School Turkish Cuisine

TAFSUS Support of the International Classroom at Penn Museum

In line with its emphasis on education for teachers and students on Turkey and its history and culture, TAFSUS gave a grant in September 2008 for the International Classroom program of the Penn Museum. This grant provided 10 complimentary International Classroom programs to students in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Approximately 330 children, 15 teachers, and 5 schools benefited from this grant.

The grant underwrote the following programs:

At the Penn Museum - World: Ancient and Modern - 5 classes visited the Penn Museum for an hour gallery tour by an one hour interactive presentation by a speaker from Turkey. The tour was conducted by docent Don Todd, who guided the students through various galleries to reflect the influence of Hittites, Greeks, Persians, Roman, and Ottoman Empires on the Anatolian Civilizations. The speakers from Turkey shared information about their home countries through power point presentations, maps, flags, clothing, traditional and contemporary music, pictures and hands on activities building upon the lesson plans of the teachers.

At the Schools - More than 5 classes were visited by a speaker from Turkey. The speakers shared information about their history, politics, education, art, music, social customs, rural and urban life, school system, geography and religion through power point presentations, maps, traditional and contemporary music, and hands on activities building upon the lesson plans of the teachers. The 5 schools were the West Catholic School, Welsh Elementary School, Woodrow Wilson High School, Glen Landing Middle School, and Masterman School.

In her thank you letter to TAFSUS President Ibrahim Onaral, Porgram Coordinator, Prema Deshmukh, who was a recent Okumus-TAFSUS Fellow and traveled to Turkey herself said:

Your generous donation of $2,020 enabled hundreds of students from New Jersey and Pennsylvania to visit the collections of the world renowned Penn Museum and to meet speakers from the Republic of Turkey. The grant allowed us to provide educational programs to many students who would otherwise be unable to afford them. These programs bring a new dimension to the curriculum offered in the public school system and supplement social studies classes. In addition, they teach students to appreciate cultures different from their own, as well as to understand and respect their own heritage.

Prema Deshmukh
Porgram Coordinator, UPenn Museum

The International Classroom program sessions on Turkey were conducted over a period of a year.

TAFSUS Support for Community College of Philadelphia

TAFSUS has been in cooperation with Community College of Philadelphia to support students and faculty for study-abroad program. Fay Beauchamp of the Community College of Philadelphia (with pictures of the 2011 Turkey trip) has written the following article that summerizes 5 years of travels to Turkey for 22 students accompanied by 2 faculty members, supported by federal Title VI grants, Turkish Coalition of America, Turkish Cultural Foundation, TAFSUS, Ambrose Monell Foundation and CCP's own funding.

2011 Student-Faculty Fellowships Report

Five years of a Student-Faculty Fellowship Program in Istanbul
Article by Fay Beauchamp, Director, Center for International Understanding
Photographs by Cynthia Giddle, English Department Chair

Community College of Philadelphia is celebrating the fifth year of a Turkey study-abroad program, the product of a federal Title VI A grant with student scholarships supported each year by the College, Turkish-American organizations, and private donors. In a time of budget cuts to international programs at the U. S. Department of Education, it is important to share examples of sustainable programs initiated through federal grants.

The intensive exploration of the diversity within Istanbul extends students’ knowledge gained through new courses developed through a U. S. Department of Education Title VI A grant, “The Middle East and Cross-Regional Connections” 2003-2006. Students take either Humanities 170: Introduction to Middle East Cultures and Civilizations, or Religious Studies 175: Religions of the Middle East or one of a number of other social science or humanities courses enhanced with new material during the grant’s official years of activities 2003-2006. They then apply for scholarships that allow them to travel to Turkey for twelve days with the two professors who have been teaching Humanities 170, Cynthia Giddle and John Joyce. Selected students enroll in a one-credit course with readings and assignments focused solely on Turkey. Fundraising coordinated by the College’s Center for International Understanding raises approximately $1200 for each student’s travel expenses, so the student’s cost has varied between $600 and $800 each year.

Highlights of the 2011 program included a stop at a Ebru workshop where the students and faculty learned this art of marbling paper perfected in Istanbul during the time of the Ottoman Empire. In the picture below, Noel Aragon holding up an example of Ebru with his redesign of the Turkish flag. Noel Aragon was the 2011 Community College of Philadelphia Student Commencement Speaker.

Picture two: All six of this year’s participants at the Ebristan atelier in the old suburban neighborhood of Uskudar along the Bosphorus. From Left to Right those holding certificates from the Ebristan atelier in the neighborhood of Uskudar:: Noel Aragon, Ryan Hall, Samiyrah Fisher; Alexandria Gibson (in front), Tarisse Iriarte, Ayyana Burvick.

The study of Turkey and Turkish at Community College of Philadelphia was been supported by the federally funded Middle East National Resource Center at the University of Pennsylvania since 2003. The 2011 study-tour to Istanbul was supported by the Turkish Coalition of America, the Turkish-American Friendship Society-US (TAFSUS), the Turkish Cultural Foundation (which invited the group to its Istanbul offices), and the Ambrose T. Monell Foundation, as well as Community College of Philadelphia funding. The itinerary has extended the schedule piloted in 2006 by a group of 22 Community College of Philadelphia faculty who were U. S. Department of Education Title VI A participants.