Talking Turkey at Coe's Thursday Forum

Extra: Lonnie Zingula, Associate Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8613 or

2016-02-18 09:56:33 - General

Ugur Akgun
Ugur Akgun
Associate Professor of Physics

A historical overview of the civilizations of Asia Minor is on tap for Coe College's Thursday Forum in March.

In the week before and three weeks after Coe's Spring Break, Physics Professor Ugur Akgun will discuss today's Turkey, also known as Anatolia, which has been the center of known human history since early Neolithic Ages.

The forum will start March 3 with the Hittites, the first known great civilization located at the center of Anatolia. Participants will review the culture and interactions with Egypt and Mesopotamia. Then, Akgun will focus on the Greek city-kingdoms along the Aegean coast - Ephesus, Troy, Miletus and Priene.

Two weeks later on March 17, the series resumes with the amazing history of Constantinople, the capitol of the Roman Empire and the center of Christianity for over 11 centuries. The third lecture covers the origins of Turkic people in middle Asia, and their 2,000-year-long migration to the west, Seljuk Empire and eventually Ottoman Empire.

The final session will start in 1922 with the foundation of the modern Turkish Republic. Participants will review the revolution led by Ataturk, which transformed a Muslim population into a secular society for the first time in history. Turkey's integration with the west via NATO, its role in the Cold War, as well as its struggle with the transition to democracy will be discussed.

Thursday Forum lectures are held in Kesler Lecture Hall in Hickok Hall on the Coe campus. Each session begins with registration and refreshments from 8:45-9:15 a.m., followed by the class until 11:30 a.m. An optional luncheon is offered at the conclusion of each series.

The courses are open to all adults. Admission to the entire four-week course can be purchased for $35 on the first day or in advance. Admission to individual lectures is $12 per week. The closing luncheons cost an additional $8. Payment can be made in person on Thursday mornings by cash or personal check. Credit card payments can be processed online only. For more information about paying by credit card or directly from your checking account, or to order gift certificates, call (319) 399-8523.

Thursday Forum schedule:

  • "Asia Minor: A 3500-Year History" - March 3, 17, 24, 31.
  • "A Historical and Cultural Perspective on Travel to Cuba by US Citizens: A Century of Flux, Paradox and Contradiction" - March 10.
  • "The Evolution of 1960s Rock ‘n’ Roll: A Closer Look at Bob Dylan, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones" - April 7, 14, 21, 28.

Coe College offers superb academics and exciting co-curricular activities in a thriving urban setting that promotes student growth and success. Established in 1851, Coe has a national reputation for academic excellence enhanced by a student-centered, highly supportive campus environment. Coe’s vibrant Cedar Rapids location provides an abundance of internships for students and career opportunities for graduates.