University of Florida
3326B Turlington Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611-7342
Although Turkish language has been taught at UF since 2002, the Turkish Studies Program was formally established within the Center for European Studies in Fall 2008. The program contains one full-time faculty member with additional support provided by a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) appointed each year for a one year term.
The broad aim of the Turkish Studies program at UF is to develop an ambitious interdisciplinary area-studies and language program that encourages students and the general public to increase their knowledge and understanding of Turkey and Turkish language, culture, history, society and politics. The reason for this is simple. Turkey has been described by one student of International Politics as a “torn country” (Samuel P. Huntington), implying that it is unable to reconcile its Muslim identity with its secular modernist outlook.
In an age of increased tensions between competing ideologies and identities, Turkish Studies hopes to demonstrate that a democratic way of life and Islam are compatible. Turkey continues to face numerous challenges in maintaining this relationship, but has persevered for over half a century. The intended audience and participants in the Turkish Studies Program are the students, faculty and staff at UF as well as the general public.
The goals of the Turkish Studies Program will be achieved via four channels:
- The development of a strong interdisciplinary curriculum consisting of language and area studies courses to be taught at UF.
- The development of a Study Abroad Program in Turkey, to provide students with the opportunity to take course credits within a Turkish university setting, with the added bonus of gaining a unique insight into Turkish society and culture.
- The creation of a targeted lecture series focusing on a broad array of topics related to Turkey and Turkish history, culture, society and politics, with a variety of speakers from different academic and professional fields.
- The development of outreach activities within the Gainesville area to increase public awareness of Turkey, in collaboration with both the Center for European Studies and the Turkish Student Association at UF.
See also: Islam and Ottoman-Turkish Studies.