Ongoing problems in Turkey impact the United States and should be of concern to all college students, according to a SUNY Cortland authority on international affairs.
“To understand their situation is to be an informed citizen of the United States,” said Alexandru Balas, an assistant professor of international studies. “Turkey is our biggest ally in that region, and their situation will impact us.”
In his Wednesday, Feb. 26, lecture at the College, “Turkey and Europe: Cultures in Conflict?” he will discuss the major social changes that are happening in Turkey.
“I will also be analyzing Turkey’s role as a bridge between Europe and the Middle East,” Balas said.
Presented by the Brooks Museum as part of its 2013-14 Rozanne M. Brooks Lecture Series at SUNY Cortland, the lecture begins at 4:30 p.m. in Moffett Center, Room 2125.
Themed this year on “Cultures in Conflict, Pathways to Resolution,” the talk will be preceded by a reception to welcome the speaker at 4 p.m. in the Rozanne M. Brooks Museum, Moffett Center, Room 2126.
The presentation also will tackle other cultural fault lines between Turkey and Europe during, including religion in society and government, women’s rights and the freedom of mass media.
Balas also directs the College’s James M. Clark Center for International Education. He believes that it’s important for students to know about Turkey because of the various study abroad programs available there, as well as the large number of Turkish students on the SUNY Cortland campus.
Balas, who took charge of the Clark Center in September, earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in political science in 2011 from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, where he concentrated on international relations and comparative politics. He also has an M.A. in conflict analysis and resolution from Sabanci University in Istanbul, Turkey, and a B.A. in political science from the University of Bucharest in Romania, the country where he grew up.
The 2013-14 Brooks Lecture Series is sponsored by a grant from Auxiliary Services Corporation and the Cortland College Foundation. For more information about the lecture, contact Balas. For information about the series or museum, contact Brooks Museum Director Sharon Steadman at 607-753-2308.