Apr 272003
Authors: Amy Bergstrom

The Turkish Student Association sought to bring understanding with a taste of Turkey at the sixth annual Turkish Night.

Turkish Night took place Saturday at the University Village Apartments and featured live music and dance, Turkish food and a multimedia presentation on Turkey. A display of posters of Turkey and other information on the country circled the room.

Understanding the Turkish culture is important, especially because there are 50 Turks living in Fort Collins and 30 of them are students, said Timur Satiroglu, one of the presenters at Turkish Night.

“Turkish night is to show you our culture, our history and our beautiful land,” Satiroglu said.

Both Satiroglu and Aydin Kocabas, president of the Turkish Student Association, worked to counteract common stereotypes about Turkey and the Turkish people.

“We do have cars, McDonalds and one of the greatest soccer teams in the world,” Satiroglu said.

Kocabas told stories about common questions he is asked about Turkey and said he hoped the presentations of the evening would respond to those questions.

“Tonight’s goal is to let you know everything about Turkey and answer the questions in your mind,” he said.

Kocabas then gave a PowerPoint presentation on the history of Turkey, explaining that Turkey is the only Islamic nation in NATO and will be entering the European Union in 2005.

“Turkey’s developing itself day by day, economically, industrially and socially,” he said.

Many of those who attended Turkish night were members of the Fort Collins community, including families with children.

Alexandra Rea, a Fort Collins resident, said she came for the educational experience.

“I hope that I can learn something about the country, because I don’t know anything,” she said before the event.

Kocabas closed his presentation on Turkey by saying that Turkish Night is an unforgettable experience.

“Be ready for tonight, which you are not going to forget for a lifetime.”

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