Mc Ghee Center For Eastern Mediterranean Studies - The McGhee Villa and Student Residence

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 discovered 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 endure 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, culminating in a gazebo with spectacular 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, a modern apartment building located halfway between the villa and downtown Alanya – a fifteen-minute walk to each. Student apartments are furnished, including fully equipped kitchens, bed and bath linens, wireless internet access, and a study area with printing facilities.

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