The Language Institute will again be offering its intensive eight-week sequence in Modern Turkish in summer 2014 and we anticipate that tuition scholarships in the amount of $500 to $2,300 per course will be available. (The levels are TURK 001, 002, and 003, and the courses will be listed on the Schedule of Courses under LANG 196A and B, and 296A.)
Turkish may not leap to the front of your mind as a language with a great strategic and historical significance, but, in fact, a knowledge of Turkish gives you access to a number of important and dynamic cultures, political systems, and economies, each of which is becoming increasingly important in the twenty-first century.
With a population of more than 70 million, the Republic of Modern Turkey occupies a central political, cultural, and economic position in Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East. The Turkish economy is the world’s seventeenth largest according to 2010 IMF data, and with its liberal political climate, Turkey is a key United States ally in the region. Turkey’s influence is evident in its longtime membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Council of Europe, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Consider also that following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Turkey has formed close cultural and business ties with the Turkic states of the Caucasus and Central Asia. Turkey not only has economic relations to many parts of the Caucasus and Central Asia, the Turkish language itself is also closely related to many languages spoken in these regions, such as Kazakh, Turkmen, Azeri, Kyrgyz, and Uzbek, for example. And there is a high degree of mutual intelligibility between many of the Turkic languages. Viewed in this light, a knowledge of Turkish can provide access to numerous opportunities in business, politics, law enforcement, and nonprofit work both in the U.S. and abroad (consider also that around 4.5 million Turkish heritage immigrants live in Europe).
Studying Turkish also offers entry into to the rich cultural and religious heritage of Turkey and can open research opportunities in the field of Eastern European studies, Ottoman history, and archeology. Turkey has long been a vital bridge between Asia and Europe and has been home to a rich variety of tribes and nations of people since 6500 B.C. These peoples include the Hittites, Lydians, Ionians, Persians, Romans, Byzantines, and Seljuks. One of the important markers of Turkish history is the multilingual and multinational Ottoman Empire, which lasted from 1299 to 1922 and which is one of the largest and longest lasting empires in the world. The study of modern Turkish also provides a foundational skill for individuals interested in learning classical Ottoman Turkish.
If you are intrigued, we invite you to join us for the introductory Turkish language sequence offered at University Park this summer (starting mid-June). Merhaba!
The application form should be submitted together with:
- a letter of recommendation from a school official (professor/teacher, counselor, or other school representative)
- a copy of your recent transcripts (unofficial copies will suffice)
- a personal statement, describing your current career goals, interest in studying Turkish, and your plans for further language study or travel abroad; the statement should be no more than two pages (12-point font, double-spaced)
- standardized test scores (high school students also need to include these)