Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Dr. Gökser Gökçay and Alkek Librarians Selene Hinojosa and Margaret Vaverek co-curated an exhibit titled “Celebrating Cultural and Educational Exchanges between the US & Turkey.”
The exhibit is located on the second floor of Alkek Library and is available to view until March 31, 2018.
Dr. Gökçay has been researching U.S. foreign policy for the last 12 years, using U.S. State Department archival documents to conduct his research.
“My Ph.D. dissertation is about the US Foreign Aid in Turkey after the end Second World War, especially during the early Cold War era … I was always interested in the U.S. Foreign Policy as well as the relations between the two countries,” said Gökçay.
The exhibit started with the Fulbright application. Alkek Library invited Gökçay to curate an exhibit about Fulbright scholarship and its history. Selena Hinojosa and Margaret Vaverek helped gather the display items.
Gökçay wants the exhibit “to remember the legacy of Fulbright and heritage of the Fulbrighters in the US and Turkey, as well in a way that showcases the cultural and intellectual exchanges between the two countries.”
According to Gökçay, the Fulbright scholarship enriches one’s knowledge about the world and also helps to increase the knowledge about different approaches to political systems and cultural interactions. This exhibit in particular showcases Turkey-U.S. relations.
“Although Turkey–US relations is one of the most important political relations for Turkey, for most people in the United States, Turkey is sometimes a mystery. Especially after the start of the Cold War, the United States has always been at the center of the decision-making processes of Turkish Foreign Policy,” said Gökçay.
Gökçay wants to show the history of these relations, which extends well beyond eighty years, not only politically, but also in terms of cultural interactions. He intends for the exhibit to do that in the way the Fulbright program encourages: by knowing other countries’ educational systems, culture and social systems and political systems.