McRobbie meets with Turkey's president on trip



IU President Michael McRobbie is back in Hoosier Nation after the first trip to Turkey by a sitting president in almost 60 years.

Saturday, McRobbie wound down his trip by meeting Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, Turkey’s recently elected president.

Two of the president’s three children, daughters Esra and Sümeyye, were also present, according to an IU release.

All three of Erdo?an’s children graduated from IU. Esra, one of his daughters, and his son Bilal Erdo?an both possess bachelor’s degrees from the IU College of Arts and Sciences. Sümeyye, the president’s second daughter graduated with a degree from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, according to the University.

“Few U.S. institutions of higher education have been as historically active and engaged in Turkey as Indiana University,” McRobbie said in the release. “For more than 70 years, IU has been one of the nation’s premier destinations for the study of Turkish and Turkic ?languages and the history and culture of this dynamic nation that, with its strategic location connecting several regions of the world, will continue to play a vital role in international affairs.”

McRobbie also hosted a reception for IU Turkish alumni, according to the University.

During the event, he presented the Thomas Hart Benton Medallion to alumnus Erdal Yildirim.

The medallion is given to those who have stood out in public office or service.

Yildirim is the general manager of the Vehbi Koc Foundation, one of Turkey’s largest charitable organizations that isn’t associated with the government.

“Our meetings in Istanbul and in Ankara have been extremely productive, positioning us to substantially enhance our already strong presence in Turkey, identify promising new exchange opportunities for our students and faculty to study, teach and conduct research overseas, and reconnect with our many successful Turkish alumni,” McRobbie said.

Kathrine Schulze

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