Intellectual women of Turkey came together at the first meeting of the Meridyen Circle on Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010.

A new addition to the family of Meridyen Association activities, the Meridyen Circle brought young women pursuing academic research abroad together with some of the female writers and academics who are shaping intellectual life in Turkey. This initial meet-and-greet was held in Üsküdar with the attendance of
roughly 70 participants, including women academics studying history, anthropology, genetics and economics, from well-known institutions including
the Oxford, Pennsylvania, Warwick, London, Chicago, Colombia, and Okayama Universities.

During the opening session of the first Meridyen Circle, Meridyen Association Chair H. Hümeyra Şahin pointed out that the association has long planned to found an academically oriented international network. Explaining the need for such an establishment, she remarked: “In a world where everything – from the micro to the macro – is changing rapidly, Turkey’s intellectual power has much to do amid the process of conceptual reconstruction and reinterpreting the evolving world.

“I have actually held the firm belief that we could create an atmosphere of synergy by combining our own individual acquaintances with others with whose academic and intellectual efforts we are well acquainted. It is very pleasing to see today that this has come true. Through this platform, we will both get to know personal success stories closely, and also have the opportunity to share how our academic work make academic contributions to our fields of study.”

H. Hümeyra Şahin also touched upon her own experiences in academic environments abroad, saying: “As people who know the local conditions in Turkey, I believe we need to consider what we can add to the academic quality of studies of Turkey conducted abroad, and to what extent we can influence the Orientalist discourse about our country and civilization.”