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Masters IR & Political Science, Canadian, Turkey

I am a young man who is deeply engaged with Turkish politics and history because it is my homeland. The fact that I am just as much Canadian as I am Turkish, I hope, will prove to be an asset to my objectivity and learning to think and feel about issues close to the Turkish heart from a variety of ideological perspectives. My family moved to Canada when I was 7 but I have been back to Turkey many times, including quite recently. My passion for the study of politics and international relations is driven by my love for my homeland, my profound appreciation for democracy, transparency in public administration, respect for human rights, and equal justice for all based on religion and ethnicity, all themes that have figured prominently in my undergraduate studies here in Canada at the University of XXXX where I am completing my undergraduate degree in Political Science with a Minor in Sociology.

My experience as a democracy protestor facing police dogs in Turkey has also helped to empower me to think independently and to dream of progressive change in my country of origin. This is why I am applying to your program. I feel strongly that my activity outside of the classroom has helped to prepare me to excel in your program as well, particularly my volunteer work with XXXX International Peace and Brotherhood Platform - Başkent Uluslararası Barış Ve Kardeşlik Platformu, Canada and Turkey (2011 – Present), a civilian initiative that conducts comprehensive studies concerning how to best go about creating a world that respects human rights independently of religious, linguistic, racial, and political views. I have also worked extensively as a volunteer with Özel Güney Gelişim Koleji, Turkey (2012), a private school located in Mersin. I assisted in organizing a one month summer camp to enhance the English proficiency of the children who attended, assuming various teaching and leadership roles throughout the duration of the camp. Finally, in Canada, I also had the honor of serving as a volunteer with the local chapter of the Green Party of Guelph.

I want to study at XXXX University, in particular, because I see it as the finest program in Istanbul and I want to be in Istanbul and to share these historic times of rapid change, hopefully through successful negotiation that will bring new levels of institutional transparency and accountability to the way in which our government functions. I want to help make Turkey more just and prosperous, building structures for rapid political and development that will bring us into a new era of rapid growth, with or without Europe. Rather than building a focus on Turkey’s relationship with the West, I hope to learn to think of Turkey as an independent player with many options, and to play particularly close attention to its relationship and possibilities for greater collaboration with the Developing World, especially Africa and Latin America. While my French is still much better than my Spanish, my use of both language is steadily improving and I hope to master them both over the course of the next decade or so, dovetailing nicely with my interests in the Developing World. I have found Cuba to be singularly exciting so far in my travels as a student.

I want to study the broad roots and causes that have led to our beloved Middle East becoming such a cauldron of conflict as it stands today and to help contribute to creative new perspectives concerning Turkey’s relationship with Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon. I want to help promote democracy and democratic institutions throughout the region and to help Turkey’s neighbors to democratize at the same time that we continue to struggle to solidify our democratic gains here at home. I feel that Turkey has a great opportunity at this juncture in history to play the role of peacemaker between Shia and Sunni, helping us to construct a Middle East of tomorrow that is finally able to offer its citizens peace along with civil and human liberties.

I also look forward to an in depth study of Turkish history, with especially critical attention to the rise of the major social issues that she faces, Kurdish and other ethnic minority problems in particular, and the need for vast improvement in her human rights track record. In coming years, I am optimistic that Turkey will make progress towards solving its Kurdish problem through economic and constitutional methods that will move us towards an ever more prosperous and democratic society that is capable of making ever greater contributions to the development of security and stability throughout the Middle East and the world. This is why I hope to be accepted to study at Koc University, because I see your program as the flagship institution for studying these issues from a Turkish perspective.

I hope to contribute to scholarship about Turkish issues in the future, especially with respect to progressive social change. As a political science major and a sociology minor I hope to combine my strength in these areas so as to better understand how ethnic conflict in Turkey has been shaped over the course of centuries, particularly with respect to the Kurds. I hope to contribute to shedding new light on critical issues facing the Middle East and to contribute to the development of new spaces for international and critical reflection on the issues of our day.

My central professional objective is to teach at a university. I want to finish my MA and then begin work on my PHD, taking part in conferences, seminars, eventually becoming employed by a think tank or an NGO that is engaged with my areas of specialization, always staying actively engaged with research. I have been involved in the politics of the region and came from a very political family. I feel strongly that I am a competitive candidate because I have travelled all across Turkey and I know Turkey very well. I can speak, write and read English and Turkish fluently and since I am also Canadian, I hope to prove useful to Western-Turkish relations, especially in light of passion for networking with large numbers of organizations concerned with Turkish issues.

Most of all, I seek to devote my life to research in International Relations with a focus on conflict and peacemaking. I want to study the history of the Arab Spring and rise of democracy in the Middle East.

Thank you for considering my application to your program.

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