McGhee Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies
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|Dr. Kay Ebel|
The McGhee Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies is an overseas academic center operated by Georgetown University in Alanya, Turkey. The McGhee Center was founded in 1989 after Ambassador George Crews McGhee, former United States Ambassador to Turkey and West Germany, donated his Mediterranean villa to Georgetown University to create a center for the study of the history and culture of Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean. The McGhee Center is academically affiliated in Turkey with Koç University and offers three types of programming: semester abroad, the Summer Institute in Intensive Turkish Language, and study tours and short programs.
The McGhee Villa and Student Residence
The principle facility of the McGhee Center is the 'McGhee Villa', an Ottoman-era mansion located in the historic district of Alanya, within the old walled city overlooking the harbor. The villa was built in the early nineteenth century by a local Orthodox Christian merchant who specialized in the export of timber to Egypt. After World War I and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Alanya’s trade routes were severed and its Christian community departed for Greece. The villa, like many of Alanya’s grand old Ottoman homes, fell into disrepair and was gradually abandoned as more and more families came to prefer the comfort and convenience of modern apartment buildings. The villa was noticed by George McGhee and his wife Cecilia on a visit to Alanya during his tenure as U.S. Ambassador to Turkey in the 1950s. McGhee purchased the property in 1968 and renovated it for his family’s use. In 1989 he donated the villa to Georgetown University with the intention that it should be used as a center of learning and scholarship.
Students and guests at the McGhee Center attend classes, meetings, special events, and take meals at the villa. The villa also houses a library, study areas, kitchen, faculty and staff offices, and space for visiting lecturers. The property includes a terraced garden that rises behind the villa, with a gazebo that has views of the sea and the city. The gardens are planted with tangerine, olive, lemon, pomegranate, bougainvillea, cypress, oleander, loquat, oregano, and cactus.
Students at the McGhee Center are lodged in a student residence, an apartment building located halfway between the villa and downtown Alanya.
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