Despite US embassy attack in Turkey Feb. 1, the Turkey venture to continue
A suicide bomber set off an explosive at one of the security check points outside of the US embassy in Ankara, Turkey, killing a Turkish security guard and wounding three others Feb. 1, according to a White House press briefing. King’s has been sending international venture groups to Turkey since 2010, and despite the attack, the Turkey venture is still on for this summer.
“A suicide bombing on the perimeter of an embassy is, by definition, an act of terror,” Press Secretary Jay Carney said at the briefing. The afternoon attack, which took place at approximately 1:15 p.m., prompted The White House to issue a warning for Americans to temporarily avoid diplomatic posts in Turkey and to exercise caution in crowds.
“I've been in communication with my contacts at the embassy and Turkish government, and this is not going to be something that changes the plans of the trip,” Anthony Randazzo, King's graduate and director of economic research at the Reason Foundation, said via email.
Randazzo once lived in Turkey and now works closely with the Turkey venture.
According to Randazzo, early information suggests the terrorist group was known and has been threatening toward the US military presence in the Middle East without attacking. He added that the incident was "very sad" but will not endanger or deter the Turkey venture team.
The 40-year old bomber, Ecevit Sanli, was identified as a member of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party, a leftist organization responsible for various attacks and assassinations since the 1970s, the Washington Post reported.
The attack on Friday dredged up recent and vivid memories of the September 2012 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which took the lives of four Americans, including the US ambassador, Chris Stevens.
“We have an excellent tracking system where we’re learning what’s going on around the world when it comes to crises so that we’re able to respond to it right away,” Elijah McCready, The King’s College Global Engagement coordinator, said.
Although Press Secretary Carney condemned the attack, during the press briefing he said, “Turkey remains one of our strongest partners in the region, a NATO ally. We have worked shoulder to shoulder with the Turks to counter terror threats and this will only strengthen our resolve.”
McCready explained that the goal of the venture trip is for students at The King’s College to build a partnership with rising leaders in Turkey. This goes hand in hand with the mission of The King’s College which “seeks to transform society by preparing students for careers in which they help to shape and eventually to lead strategic public and private institutions.”
On the Turkey venture, students attend a five-day business conference where they discuss business ethics, Turkish-American trade, and commerce with students from top private universities in Turkey who are among the wealthiest, most connected and most likely to rise to leadership positions.
This past January, The King's College hosted its first conference for the Turkish students.
“I think it’s neat to be sharing ideas with the students in Turkey and hear their thoughts on capitalism, democracy, Islam and other things,” Nicole Rosales (’15, Business Major), said. Rosales went on the international venture to Turkey in 2012 and plans to return this summer.