Les participants montréalais du programme d’échange interculturel en Turquie étaient;
Lise Zarac, Membre du Parlement,
Dr. Satoshi Ikeda, Département de Sociologie et d’anthropologie, Concordia University
Dr. Hilliard Goldfarb, Assistant chef Curateur et Curateur, Musée des beaux arts de Montréal.
Very Rev. Michael Pitts, Recteur de Christ Church Cathedral (Retraité)
Rev. Diane Rollert, Ministre, Unitarian Church of Montreal.
“I had a wonderful 12 day trip to Turkey from 7th to 19th of July, 2010.
There are many revelations I had in this trip. One of the most important discoveries was how secularism is working in Turkey today. I was impressed by rapid economic development in Turkey. We enjoyed the hospitality and generosity of the Turkish people. Several families received us and provided us with great opportunity to learn about Turkish people, society and culture. I hope that the friendship we started in this trip will grow into a joint effort to nurture a shared vision for the world where difference was accepted and appreciated. To work together to develop such a vision and to try to bring a harmonious world will be my way of returning favor to the wonderful people I met in my journey to Turkey.
With gratitude to my new friends,”
Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Political Sociology of Global Futures
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Concordia University
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
“This is the great undiscovered country for many Canadians. Many Canadians would travel to other parts of Europe, they would travel to Caribbean, and they would travel throughout the United states. I think if they knew what they could find in Turkey, they would come here.”
Chief of Toronto Police
“At the end of July 2009, I joined Fehmi Kala of the Montreal DialogFoundation and four Canadians from Montreal and Edmonton on the annual cross cultural visit to Turkey. I was drawn to this, and more generally to the DialogFoundation, by a common interest in enabling people of different faith traditions to leant to know and understand each other, a process which I believe is vital for the future peace and stability of our world.
For this I am thankful to DialogFoundationm, its Turkish partner BAKiAD and the many business men and others who sponsored our stay, our meals and our visits to sites and museums.”
The Very Revd Michael J. Pitts
Anglican Diocese of Montreal
In my 24 years with the RCMP, I have had the opportunity to travel to various countries in Asia, Africa and Europe. However, none have been as rewarding and enriching as my trip to Turkey with the IDI in the summer of 2009.
Having an opportunity to view, first hand, the numerous illuminated manuscripts described by Orhan Pamuk, the eminent Turkish Nobel Prize recipient for literature, he describes in his book “My name is Red” which can be viewed at the Topkapi Palace and the Mevlana Museum in Konya or to walk in the footsteps of Galip as he wanders the streets of Istanbul searching for his wife Ruya in his novel “The Black Book” was incredible. Turkey is indeed a wondrous country with an incredible history, fabulous culture and architecture, terrific food, friendly and welcoming people to say nothing of the great opportunity to see how Turkish Muslims live their faith on a daily basis.
The trip was the more enjoyable, thanks to the incredible insights given by our tour director Kerim Khan and his wife Seniha as well as the great travel companions. Having traveled to numerous countries, I can greatly appreciate all the work that went into preparing and co-ordinating the trip.
The IDI and their counterpart in Turkey, BAKIAD, did a fantastic job. By far the best and most rewarding part of the trip was the dinners we had with local families. Their hospitality was incredible. I found these hosts to be not only welcoming but very open, frank and willing to discuss a myriad of topics from their faith, to education, to the economy and relations with other countries and cultures.
This trip has certainly opened my eyes and made me realize how similar our fears and aspirations are. It has given me a much better understanding of Islam and the need for continued Dialogue between our faiths to make this world we all live in a better place. The only negative comment I can make is that the ten days we spent in Turkey was far too short a time. I am looking forward to returning to Turkey in the spring of 2011, this time for a whole month. To the members of IDI, many thanks for this wondrous opportunity.
Sgt. Daniel Ste-Marie, Immigration and Passport/Special Investigations Section (IPSIS) – Royal Canadian Mounted Police
In many ways this was the best trip we have ever taken. The generosity and hospitality of the Turkish organizers and hosts made us feel welcomed and very, very well taken care of. The beauty and diversity of the country makes it difficult to get a real sense of the people and history in only a week, but this trip is organized in such a way as to give the maximum exposure to Turkey’s many national treasures. We really had a great time. The best aspect of this trip is the access you have to the Turkish people, from all walks of life, and their patience and willingness to share and explain their culture. This trip is a marvelous opportunity to glimpse a country and its people in a way no average tourist tour could.
Tanya Byrant & Juan Miranda – Ottawa Residents
THE BEST ASPECT OF THIS TRIP IS THE ACCESS YOU HAVE TO THE TURKISH PEOPLE, FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE, AND THEIR PATIENCE AND WILLINGNESS TO SHARE AND EXPLAIN THEIR CULTURE.
Our trip to Turkey was an amazing experience. Our hosts welcomed us into their communities and homes with open arms and they took great pride in introducing us to all aspects of their culture, including their history, their faith-and their food! During the trip, I gained an even greater respect for the Islamic faith, and especially its role in Turkish culture. I came away with the assurance that true Islam promotes peace among all faiths and cultures-and that the key is Dialogue among friends.
We never feared for our safety. Yes, we stayed at first-class hotels and were led by a Turkish-speaking guide, but it was more than that. The warmth in the actions and words of all the people that we met assured us that we were always among friends.
Paul Sales, Gift Planner for Montreal and Ottawa Conference, The United Church of Canada
Over the course of my visit to Turkey I enjoyed not only the amazing historic and natural sites of interest but also the warmth of hospitality at dinners and receptions in the homes of our hosts. These people introduced us to their families and served up amazing meals. From the opening day of learning about Istanbul and the beauties of the Turkish coastline all the way through all the other interesting places and ending in Ankara the trip was a fascinating experience. There were so many happy memories for me but perhaps my favourite was being able to see Konya and learn first hand about the distinctive religious and cultural traditions which originated in Turkey. Izmir was also a treat as I come from Canada’s Atlantic Provinces and it was great to enjoy another coastal experience.
Let me also express my appreciation for our guides who gave generously of their time and enthusiasm. Their assistance helped make the trip the great experience it was.