October 25, 2010
Re: Mayoral Invitation to Attend Intercultural Trip to Turkey, December 28, 2010 and January 6, 2011
Earlier this year three of your fellow Mayors participated in the Traditional Intercultural trip to Turkey. Below is an invitation for interested Mayors to participate in another trip to Turkey. The text of the invitation follows:
Interfaith Dialog Center cordially invites you to join our traditional intercultural trip to Turkey between December 28, 2010 and January 6, 2011. (The dates indicated are departure dates from the US and Turkey). We do suggest that you should buy a direct flight, that is, either Delta or Turkish Airlines. So that we may be in Istanbul before noon on December 29th and can easily start our program in the afternoon.
Interfaith Dialog Center is a non-profit organization established in 2003 in New Jersey to foster dialogue and understanding between faiths, cultures and civilizations. We believe that by establishing a strong solidarity among all, we will make a contribution to make our world a better place to live. In that respect, it is one of the goals of IDC to come together with people from all faiths to build a strong foundation for ultimate solidarity, harmony and tolerance.
Trips to Turkey sponsored by IDC are very instrumental in building bridges between the Turkish American Community and other faith groups as well as other segments of the larger society.
Turkey has always been at crossroads for civilizations and beliefs, not to mention its marvelous natural beauties, warm hospitality, and world famous cuisine, which makes the country particularly interesting for tourism Turkey is a land of ‘Divine love’, as some say. It is the land of dialogue and tolerance where diverse faiths and cultures have lived in peace for millennia. It is the land of Abraham – spiritual forefather of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
When preparing the itinerary, we include Christian, Muslim and Jewish places in addition to other touristic and historical places. We also visit educational institutions, a TV station or a newspaper and an intercultural dialogue foundation. Visiting families at their homes and having dinner with them is an unforgettable part of the trips.
IDC hopes that trips to Turkey will bring diverse people together, help them get to know a different culture as well as get to know each other. Friendship developed on the trip, we hope, will turn into cooperation for a better New Jersey, the US and world at large.
Although most of the population is Muslim, Turkey is a secular country and it is the only country among the Islamic countries which has included secularism in her Constitution and practices it.
Projected places of visit include Istanbul, Izmir, Konya, Antalya, and Cappadocia. IDC and our Turkish co-sponsors will cover all lodging and food costs inside Turkey. We kindly ask our guests to purchase their own round trip flight tickets to/from Turkey and cover domestic flights, which will be around $300.
Please kindly R.S.V.P to this non-transferable invitation as soon as possible by contacting Dr. Levent KOÇ, Executive Director, Interfaith Dialog Center, 17 Academy St. Suite 701, Newark, NJ 07102. Phone: 973-353-9333 Fax: 973-353-9331
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.