White İstanbulPhoto by José Manuel Ríos Valiente via Flick’s Creative Commons license

Our production team will be traveling to Istanbul this Saturday, and we’re looking to speak with some big thinkers for our public radio program. We want to better understand how Turkey carries forward its historical roots in the Ottoman Empire and before, and how its making the transition from a strict, secular democracy to one that allows for a more expression of religious identity and government rule. Who might be able to tease out the nuances of this tension and growth in Turkey as the country becomes a positive model for other burgeoning democracies in the region?

This person who could walk the line between being an expert who lives out these ideas in his or her daily life. Preferably we’d like to speak to someone who is a practicing Muslim and who grew up with a belief in the virtues and values of Ataturk’s secular approach to democracy. Or maybe this person never felt like those two identities fit in Turkey… But now is hopeful that the two can coexist. How does the larger context play out in individual lives of the speaker and other Turks?

And, since we’re a public radio program aired in the U.S., we’ll need them to be able to carry an hour-long conversation in fairly good English.

Offer your suggestions in the comments section here, or even email me at tgilliss@onbeing.org. And, if you know others who might have some ideas, please pass our request along. We’d be much indebted to you.

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