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Cablegate: Review of the Fulbright Global Women's

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ISTANBUL 002088

SIPDIS


FOR ECA HARRISON, ECA/A/E BALLOW; ECA/A/E/NEA-SA
SEDLINS, KLUTTZ, TAFT; ECA/A/S/U GIBSON; G/IWI;
EUR/PPD


E.O. 12958:N/A
TAGS: KPAO SCUL TU
SUBJECT: REVIEW OF THE FULBRIGHT GLOBAL WOMEN'S
CONFERENCE IN ISTANBUL, SEPTEMBER 18-21, 2002


1. SUMMARY. PA Istanbul cooperated with the Bureau
of Educational and Cultural Affairs in executing the
first-ever Fulbright-sponsored conference bringing
together 110 r 110 women from the Middle East, North
Africa, South Asia, Europe and Central Asia to focus
on the role of women as leaders in the global
community. The conference was amplyheavily covered
by Turkish media. Assistant Assistant Secretary
Harrison personally presented to Turkish recipients
both a scholarship and an award under the ECA
Partnerships for Learning Initiative.Preparation of
a final text of the conference presentations and
proceedings awaits selection of an editor END
SUMMARY.


2. The Fulbright-sponsored "Women in the Global
Community" conference was hosted on the historic
campus of Bogazici University (originally founded by
Congregationalist missionaries in 1863 as Robert
College) on September 18 - 21, featuring sessions on
a wide array of topics, including education, public
health, information technology, war and peace,
culture and ethnicity, and the role of women in the
political process.


3. Assistant Secretary of State Patricia Harrison,
Ambassador Pearson, Senior Coordinator of the Office
of International Women's Issues April Palmerlee, and
the Consul General participated with university vice
rector Sevket Pamuk in ceremonies opening the
conference. During the course of the conference
Assistant Secretary Harrison met with several
leading Turkish businesswomen, resulting in plans
for the establishment of a chapter in Turkey of the
International Women's Forum, as well as with a group
of American Fulbright students who related their
experiences in Turkey and who were invited by the
Assistant Secretary to write recommendations for the
program. The keynote address, "Historical
Perspective: The Turkish Example," was delivered by
Professor Akile Gursoy, prominent sociologist and
granddaughter of Turkey's third president, Celal
Bayar.


4. The conference attracted more than 110 overseas
participants from the Middle East, South Asia, North
Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean, including
scholars from Afghanistan, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece,
India, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Nepal, Palestine,
Tunisia, Europe and the United States. More than
150 Turkish women NGO leaders, academics and
business persons, as well as former Fulbright and
Humphrey grantees, constituted the main conference
audience. Sessions were varied in style and
presentation, and debate throughout was lively. The
most heavily-attended panels were on "The Role of
Women in Rebuilding Afghanistan," "Women in Turkey,"
and "Civil Society: War and Peace." The conference
program included evening screenings of award-winning
films produced/directed by women filmmakers at the
Mithat Elam Film Center on campus and an exhibit of
books by women writers (to be donated to the host
institution). Turkish print and electronic media
covered the opening ceremonies and concluding
banquet. In addition, the Library of Congress film
team recorded the entire conference for display on
its website.


5. During the final banquet of the conference a
Fulbright scholarship provided by the Bureau of
Educational and Cultural Affairs for $50,000 was
announced in honor of the late Inci Pirinccioglu,
one of the first Turkish Fulbright students, who
returned to Turkey from study at Columbia University
during the 1950s to build a successful travel and
events planning business. The Pirinccioglu family
was present at the occasion, spoke of the effect of
the Fulbright program on their mother's life, and
announced their intention to establish a reciprocal
Fulbright award which would support an American
student studying in Turkey.


6. In conjunction with the conference, Assistant
Secretary Harrison announced a $250,000 award under

SIPDIS
ECA's Partnerships for Learning Initiative to the
U.S.-Turkish Binational Commission to enable Turkish
undergraduate students with demonstrated financial
need to study in the United States at several
campuses of the State University of New York (SUNY)
system. The announcement was made at a press
conference in the consulate general garden following
a meeting with the rectors of ten Turkish
universities, including five universities from the
southeast of the country. It is anticipated that
other donors, including the American university
sector, will provide additional funding for this
program.


7. Mass circulation Turkish dailies Hurriyet and
Milliyet carried prominent coverage with photographs
both of the $50 thousand Inci Pirinccioglu
Scholarship award and of the $250 thousand
Partnership for Learning Initiative scholarship
announcement. Clips of the press conference in the
consulate garden were aired on NTV and other
stations. In addition, a long interview with
Assistant Secretary Harrison conducted by senior
columnist Ferai Tinc (cited two years ago by a UK
paper as one of the most respected women journalists
in the world) was featured in the Sunday, September
22, edition of Hurriyet daily. Lively TV interviews
with conference participants, especially with the
Afghan women, were among the event highlights picked
up by the Turkish media.


8. The staff of PA--Istanbul wish to express their
collective thanks and appreciation to numerous
individuals in ECA and to their colleagues at the US
Mission and the Fulbright Commission in Turkey for
the impressive cooperation and teamwork which made
this program possible.
ARNETT

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