The conference will take place in one of the most challenging and stimulating cities of the world – Istanbul. What we love about Istanbul is its extraordinary historical appeal, its many roof-top views over the Bosphorus, its countless opportunities for a Turkish çay or kahve, and the generous Turkish hospitality that lies at our disposal everywhere for free. What we hate about Istanbul is its stinky traffic, the exhaustion on people’s faces, and the fact that we need to plan in a minimum of an hour or two to get from one place to the next.
Istanbul has been bridging cultures since its very inception, with numerous cultures such as the Greeks, Persians, Romans, Venetians, and finally, Ottomans ruling over it for periods of time. Remnants of these cultures lurk around every corner still today, rendering the city a gigantic cultural and historical melting pot.
Not to mention the fact that Istanbul is the only city in the world that is built on two continents, linking Asia and Europe, and literally bridging them through two bridges reaching over the Bosphorus, the first one being the Boğaziçi Köprüsü and the second one the Fatih Sultan Mehmed Bridge. Notably, Istanbul constituted the ending point of the legendary Silk Road that linked Asia and Europe, thereby bringing Chinese, Persian, Somali, Greek, Syrian, Roman, Armenian, and Indian merchants together.
We believe, against this background, that Istanbul is an especially apt location to choose when discussing mediated bridges across cultures. We hope that the cultural melting pot Istanbul will instigate lively, constructive, and fruitful discussions at the confernce.
Read more about Istanbul here.