What are East and West?

What does it symbolize in cultural and political life? I'm sure we all have some answers to this question. However, if you came from Europe like me, you may have some mythical or exotic ideas about the East. After all, we don't see eastern countries or their cultures every day on TV or on the Internet. But everyone around the world is aware of what's going on in the west. When the UK elects a new prime minister, the whole world is talking about it, while the political turmoil of an eastern country is valuable only to that country's expert.

My Journey

I actually see myself in the middle. Yes, I am western, but I also have a great appetite for the east. I see subtleties in the East that cannot be imagined for the West. Although they have some problems, the difference of the eastern people attracts me. Rather than dreaming of a uniform world, I want the east to stand against the west in all its glory and blend together as much as possible.

Because I want to know different cultures of the world, I wanted to study abroad after high school. I had alternatives such as Fulbright, Chevening, DAAD or Global Korean Scholarship.

I'm sure it would also be beneficial for me to study in Germany or apply for a scholarship for the UK. But what I was after was something else. I wanted to experience a different culture and at the same time see a different synthesis in this new culture. So, I chose Turkish Universities because of Turkey's unique location and Turkey Scholarships being a versatile and complementary scholarship program. Here, I will take a short break and write briefly what they should do for students like me who will apply for Türkiye Scholarships.

I remember that when I completed my application, I couldn't sleep because of excitement. After a short while, experts from Türkiye Scholarships contacted me and we had a detailed interview and I won and they make the placement to one of the Turkish Universities.

Experience in Türkiye

When I applied for Türkiye Scholarships, I knew that the adventure in front of me would be in all areas of my life, not just academic. After winning the scholarship, I was placed in one of the Turkish Universities, my dormitory was arranged and all I had to do was use the plane ticket sent by Türkiye Scholarships and come to Turkey. When I came to Istanbul, I saw that my dream of east-west synthesis had already come true, and this synthesis had been going on for hundreds of years. Some Mosques such were places where east and west met. In some, western architecture became the mortar of the eastern structure, while in others, it became the symbol of both the east and the west. As I traveled in Turkey, I saw the east-west synthesis not only in architecture but also in thought. This synthesis makes Turkey, Turkish language and Turkish people so valuable that I learn something every day I spend here.

Turkish universities are also worth mentioning. Some of the world's most distinguished universities are in Türkiye. You can have an excellent diploma that is valid all over the world in schools such as Middle East Technical University and Istanbul Technical University. Ankara University and Hacettepe University are leading in medical education. Besides, Turkish universities are great in departments such as archeology or anthropology. Apart from the quality of education, a wonderful campus life and an enthusiastic social life are offered to students by Turkish universities. The east-west synthesis continues at the university as well. While attending concerts at school, I also dealt with traditional Islamic arts such as marbling or illumination. Studying both cubism and miniature art in a faculty and the artists being influenced by each other's works create brand new synthesis. While what one would expect from a scholarship program is academic education, thanks to Türkiye Scholarships, I have gained a lot culturally as well as academy. This is much more than study in UK or study in Germany. East-west synthesis gives you a worldview that you cannot gain anywhere else in the world besides the academic proficiency of modern Turkish universities.

Ortaköy Mosque, A Piece of Art

To elaborate a little, I would like to explain what I mean by the meeting of east and west. Geographically, Istanbul is in both Asia and Europe. The sea runs through it, not a river, and this sea separates the two continents. There is a tiny mosque in front of this wonderful view. Although the real name of this mosque, which was built by Sultan Abdülmecid in 1853, is Büyük Mecidiye Mosque, everyone now calls it Ortaköy Mosque. Ortaköy Mosque is one of the pinnacles of neo baroque architecture. Their embroidery is more beautiful than the Bode Museum in Germany or Port of Liverpool Building in England. Despite all this, Ortaköy Mosque continues to function as a meeting point for Muslims for more than a century. Where the two continents come closest to each other, east and west intertwine and the uniquely beautiful Ortaköy Mosque emerges. The architect of the mosque is Nigoğos Balyan from the Balyan family, who has been the palace architect for four generations. In other words, a mosque is exactly in the middle of Asia and Europe and it competes with its Western rivals architecturally.

Turkey is a country where east and west have met, known and united for hundreds of years. I, on the other hand, have been living in this synthesis since I came to Turkey with Türkiye Scholarships.

Another interesting point is that Turkish universities are also close to Ortaköy Mosque. It is priceless for me to see an architectural wonder in this place where I came from my school on foot.

In Conclusion

There is so much in the world worth learning. Although everything is European-based in modern times, the rest of the world offers us much more experience. Turkey, on the other hand, is the meeting point of cultures that seem to contradict each other. It is a center where east and west unite and create a brand new synthesis. Istanbul is the pinnacle of this synthesis. You can see a building from a different time in history in every corner of it, and encounter the traces of philosophers and statesmen who have followed millions of people. Türkiye Scholarships has been an important tool for me to see this synthesis. While I was getting a good academic education, I saw the east-west synthesis with my own eyes.