In March 2009, four of the undergraduates taking Dr. Fleet’s course on the history of modern Turkey – Ivan Gladstone, Bayan Parvizi, Isobel Spaven-Donn, and Adam Williams – visited Ankara, with bursaries from the Skilliter Centre. Whilst in Ankara, they stayed in the guesthouse of the Middle East Technical University.
On Monday 16th March, they visited Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and the Museum of Anatolian Civilisations, with lunch in a restored Ottoman mansion in the castle overlooking the city. On Tuesday, they had an architectural tour led by Dr. Buket Tosun, a lecturer in art history from Hacettepe University, round old Ankara. The tour took in examples of the various architectural styles and early Republican buildings, including the İş Bankası, the first Parliament building, and the Opera House.
Wednesday was spent in Beypazarı, where the students visited old Ottoman houses and experienced a traditional treatment for removing evil eyes, as well as experimenting with shadow puppets; they had lunch in a converted 19th-century school. On their return to Ankara, they had cocktails, followed by a traditional İskender kebabı dinner, before departing on Thursday.