Murat Salim Esenli ‘99G, the current Turkish Ambassador to Rome and alumnus of the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Government and Politics invited students at the University’s Rome, Italy campus to visit the Turkish Embassy on July 16, 2019. The Embassy in Rome is the oldest in the Turkish Foreign Service, occupying a beautiful historic villa in the Casa Pretorio neighborhood. There, Ambassador Esenli and guests discussed Turkey and its role in the world, with a particular emphasis on Turkey’s humanitarian response to the current refugee crisis, as well as the economic and political issues that the country and its neighbors face.
The conversation was especially valuable because it included Turkey’s particular methods of crisis response. The students in attendance were all enrolled in the summer seminar “Democracy, Capitalism, and Crisis,” taught by Associate Professor and Chair Fred P. Cocozzelli, Ph.D. They included: Hana Alem, KhatSaRa Bediako, Tzadi Elliston ‘18CPS, Mohamed Khalil Larhrib, Alessandra Marra, Matthew Steigerwald ‘19C, and Christina Zack. Along with the students and Dr. Cocozzelli, alumnus Dr. John D’Attoma ‘13G, currently a lecturer in International Politics and Business at the University in Exeter, and Assistant Dean Margherita Panzera attended the discussion.
“For me, our visit to the Turkish embassy represented the endless possibilities that a master’s degree in Government and Politics from St. John’s can provide,” said Ms. Zack. “The ambassador, being an alum, gives me hope that using what I learn here can help to make a difference in the world of politics.”
Said Ms. Alem: “The trip to the Turkish embassy was one of the highlights of my master's program here in Rome. It was truly an exceptional experience."
In addition to his M.A. from St. John’s, Ambassador Esenli holds a B.A. in Public Administration from American University. He began his diplomatic career in 1984 in the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Turkey. He held various diplomatic positions, including Ambassador to Mexico, Ambassador to China, and Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations (U.N.), throughout his career. He has delivered lectures at the War Academy in Istanbul and many universities in China, and has presented on Turkish foreign policy on numerous television programs addressing international issues.