U.S. & Turkey relationship sparks discussion at SUNY Cortland - WBNG.com: Binghamton-area News, Weather, Sports

U.S. & Turkey relationship sparks discussion at SUNY Cortland

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Cortland, NY (WBNG Binghamton) With troubling current events in the Middle East, some scholars think Turkey may play a role in the region’s future stability.

Wednesday night, SUNY Cortland’s Clark Center for International Education hosted Executive Director of the Institute for Turkish Studies at Georgetown University, Sinan Ciddi.

He discussed with students and faculty the idea of whether Turkey should be a long term ally when fighting off the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

“The U.S. has to tread carefully in its composition policy in combating ISIS,” Ciddi said. “Specifically, with the help and cooperation of Turkey-- simply because the Turkish government and Turkish regime is embroiled in its own battle of political survival.”

But why should students care about the relationship between Turkey and the U.S.?

“Hearing from someone who actually knows what he’s talking about, rather than talking heads, is really important,” freshman student Zachary Curtis said. “We're all citizens, we're all going to vote-- so being a little more informed about issues coming up, especially with the presidential election, I think is hugely important.”

More than 50 people came out to hear Ciddi speak, and event planners think it’s the topic that grabbed student’s attention.

“This is an event that gets a lot of students with ISIS in the title, since it's so big in the news right now,” senior student and editor of the International Newsletter at SUNY Cortland John Kriegelsteis said.

While some said they believe the fear of ISIS has died down, Ciddi said the terrorist group isn't going away anytime soon-- a push for people to gain knowledge on the topic.

"I think the prevalence of the Islamic State is going to be around for a while,” Ciddi said. “Unless decisive action is taken, it will proliferate.”

Ciddi also said spreading awareness to young people about the relationship between the U.S. and Turkey is something that will help them out in the long run.

“I think it's good, on campuses like this, if awareness is raised. If we can make students as aware as possible, and as interested as possible-- because it will one day affect the way they travel, it'll affect the way they get jobs, it'll affect the stability of the economy in this country, as well as European countries,” Ciddi said.

SUNY Cortland has several exchange programs with Turkish universities.

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