A photo of women admiring the illustrations and Arabic lettering of a Koran in a part of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul where only women are allowed to pray won the annual study-abroad photo contest of Clayton State University.

The winner of Clayton State University’s 2013 study-abroad photo contest is Julie Coile, a master’s of business administration student, who participated in an 11-day tour organized by the Turkish American Chamber of Commerce of the Southeast U.S.

The photo was taken in Istanbul at the Blue Mosque, one of the city’s leading attractions, which was constructed between 1609 and 1616. The mosque’s official name is the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, known unofficially as the Blue Mosque because of the tens of thousands of blue tiles in its interior.

Ms. Coile was invited into a section of the mosque where only women are permitted to pray. She photographed her guide, the woman wearing the orange scarf, who was showing the illustrations and Arabic lettering in a copy of the Koran.

The judges comprised of Clayton State students, faculty and staff evaluated the entries on the basis of the photographer’s ability to communicate a cross-cultural experience in keeping with the theme of the contest, “Viewing the World Through My Eyes.”

Almost two-dozen Clayton State business students visited Turkey from May 8-19 in the study-abroad program.

Besides the historic sites in Istanbul including the spice and grand bazaars, they went to the Geza Park at Taksim Square where anti-government protests took place over the year.

Also in Istanbul, the students visited Turkey’s Investment Promotion Agency, participated in a tour of the city’s airport and met with officials of Kuehne+Nagel Turkey, the global logistics firm.

In addition, they visited the cities of Bursa, where they saw an auto manufacturing facility; Izmir, where they went to the ports authority and the local chamber of commerce; and Ephesus where they saw historic sites.

To learn more about Clayton State’s study-abroad programs, click here, and for the Turkish-American Chamber of Commerce in Atlanta, here.