The President of the General Directorate of Foundations Council Lakis Vingas, of Greek origin, delivered a lecture on Turkey on Sept. 12 to students of the Department of History at Stanford, the prestigious university in California. They had visited Turkey to participate in several seminars concerning studies on Eastern culture and civilization.
Vingas was invited to talk about his personal experience on people of different backgrounds living in Istanbul as well as Turkey’s impact on other cultures, and vice-versa. As a member of the Greek Turkish community in Istanbul, he explained the feeling of being part of a minority in a foreign country. Students also heard about Turkey’s relationship with non-Muslim communities during the past decade, which has improved markedly as the country seeks to become a member of the European Union.
Vingas reminded the students of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York and the establishment of dictatorship in Turkey and said, “I hope you will not face such incidents that separate people and provoke hatred. Societies should not be afraid of difference.”