President Abdullah Gul on Thursday hosted a dinner at Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul for the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies (OCIS). Speaking at the event, Gul pointed to the accomplished studies the institution carries out in the areas of the Islamic culture and civilization. "The OCIS, which plays an important role for people in both the West and the East in understanding the real values of Islam, is the first academic institution for Islam in the history of the University of Oxford which dates 800 years. Stating that the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies is an academic center which conducts successful studies in the Islamic culture and civilization, Gul said that its influences have spread beyond the Islamic world, promoting such values as conciliation and mutual understanding. Gul also offered his thanks to the OCIS's administration of the scholarship for researchers at the center named after him: "Abdullah Gul Chevening Award."