Thursday, May 10, 2012

In Istanbul next week...

by Salman Hameed

It is always a pleasure to be in Istanbul. My last visit was in late 2010 (see posts about food and friends,  on headscarf controversies and smoking, and on the stunning views of the Bosphorus from the Bogazici University). I will be there as part of our ongoing National Science Foundation (NSF) study to interview physicians and medical students about biological evolution and the relationship between science and religion. My research collaborator, Berna Turam, will also be with me. She is a sociologist at Northeastern University and is originally from Turkey (check out her book: Between Islam and the State: The Politics of Engagement). That should make things a bit easier. Last time I had a chance to talk a to a number of students at the Cerrahpasa University, and this time we will be going to the medical schools at Capa University. If you know of any medical students or medical doctors who would be interested in talking about biological evolution, drop me a line.

I will of course be blogging from Istanbul for the next two weeks. And of course, I am looking forward to watching Fatih 1453 (or Conquest 1453). Yes, it is about the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans, and yes, I know that the history depicted in the film is quite a bit sugar-coated. But it is the most expensive Turkish film ever made and I have a soft spot for it as I grew up reading historical fiction of Naseem Hijazi (in Urdu), and one of his books focused on this very episode.

Here is the trailer:


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