As human beings, one of our most important goals is to understand the world we live in and to experience it accordingly. In order to achieve this, we need, among other things, to have the ability to think analytically and have a capacity for interpretation. Given the fact that the essential aim of the discipline of literature is to provide its students with an aesthetical taste, interpretive and analytical thinking, it is clear that the disicpline of literature will help students to be equipped with the capacity to understand and interpret the world and social life. For this reason, an education in literature can almost be views as a basic requirement for such students.
Why Department of Turkish Language and Literature in Turkey?
Is Turkey the right place to learn literature? Though there are many answers to this question, it suffices to present just a few here. Having an education in literature in Turkey is not only about Turkish literature, it also entails education in Islamic literature (such as Arabic, Persian, Chagatai etc.), of which Turkish literature is the latest addition. Literature education in Turkey, which is located in between the West and the East, also offers an opportunity to learn about and get familiar with two highly different cultural and literary traditions. Moreover, though the language of instruction is Turkish in Literature Departments, you will have the opportunity to learn several different languages, including Turkish, Ottoman Turkish, Arabic, Persian, French, German, Spanish and English, in addition to your native language. Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to spend one or two semesters in a European country through the Erasmus Exchange Program, using Turkey's geographical advantages. There are also many universities in Turkey, where you will have the opportunity to attend conferences, exhibitions, colloquia and workshops in a culturally rich environment.
Education in Turkish Language and Literature in Turkey
Turkish Language and Literature Departments in Turkey usually consist of four sub-divisions:
In the Old Turkish Literature division, students learn about literary works written in Turkish during the period roughly from the 11th to the 19th century. The New Turkish Literature division entails the study of literary works that also reflect the modernization efforts in Ottoman Empire in the post-Tanzimat period (1839 onwards). The Linguistic division includes the examination of all kinds of texts written in Turkish from a linguistic perspective, though this division also has its own sub-fields. Finally, the Folk Literature division entails the study of the folkloric elements created during both the Ottoman and Republican periods.
The curricula in Turkish Language and Literature Departments include the basic courses of the above-mentioned four sub-fields of Turkish literature at the undergraduate level. Moreover, though courses in the Old and New Turkish Literature divisions are taught at all universities, the Linguistic and Folk Literature courses are offered less frequently than others in many departments due to the reasons related to their academic staff and the perspective of the universities. Still, all universities offers such basic courses as Ottoman Turkish, Old Turkish Literature, New Turkish Literature, the Structure of Modern Turkish, and Folk Literature. Moreover, many universities offer courses on literary theories and literary criticism at both graduate and undergraduate levels. In the graduate programs, while at least one class from Old Turkish Literature and New Turkish Literature fields are offered as required courses, the rest of the curriculum depends on the specific sub-division to which the student is admitted. Finally, there are many programs that offer courses on the comprative analysis of Turkish literature vis-a-vis both Eastern and Western literatures.
Essential and Desired Qualities, and Job Opportunities
Though Turkish literature departments vary on some minor points in Turkey, there are some essential conditions to get an education in literature. First and foremost, the student must be able to think analytically. Mastering this ability will also help master another important skill: interpretative capacity. Furthermore, while a literature student is expected to be prone to learning foreign languages, they are also required to have a passion for reading and an ability to analyze texts. Once equipped with these skills, the students are also expected to reach the level of being able to examine literary works. In addition to these academic skills, students are also expected to be open to learning different cultures and living together with people from different cultures as the texts that they encounter should be considered to be the representative of these other cultures.
Job opportunities for the graduates of literature departments are actually better than usually assumed. Teaching and academic career opportunities constitute the first and most common type for the literature graduates. Academic prospects also include many of the Departments of Middle Eastern and Near Eastern Studies in Europe and USA. Moreover, there are some natural job opportunites for them in such sectors as publishing, editing, and advertising, all of which are actually run by graduates of literature departments. Another important job prospectus for those who get a literature education in Turkey exists in NGOs and foundations, some of which are specifically founded by different governments to spread the cultures of their country in the world. In the case of Turkey, the most important of such institutions is the Yunus Emre Foundation that has many branches in different parts of the world. Finally, equipped with the necessary academic background, literature graduates may also have job opportunities in public and private institutions that play a role in the development of cultural relationships between their own country and Turkey as well as other countries.
Although there are many leading academics in the field of Turkish Language and Literature who are recognized both in Turkey and the world, we can cite Talat Sait Halman, Ömer Faruk Akün, İlhan Başgöz, Günay Kut and İnci Enginün, just to name a few.
The phenomenon of translation came about as a result of the emergence of different languages in human history, and being as old as history itself, it has posed a constant need for humanity. All kinds of human social activities, from ensuring communication between peoples that speak different languages to the interaction between different cultures and civilizations in remote parts of the world, become possible through oral and written translation. Translation is a practice known to have always existed, and throughout history, various views have been held as to how it should be done; it's becoming an acknowledged field of science in the academic world occurred in the second half of the 20th century. The first translation departments in Turkey were opened in the 1980s under the name of "Translation and Interpreting".
The phenomenon of translation can also be described as a communicative tool between languages and cultures, and as a field of science, it is closely related to the fields of language learning, linguistics, and literature. As translations are required for a variety of subjects it becomes necessary for translation curricula to come into contact and interact with a wide range of sciences and academic fields such as law, economics, history, literature, and medicine. Placing huge emphasis on multilingualism, multiculturalism, and multidisciplinarity, translation is a gateway to all disciplines and serves as a hub of interaction for societies living in different lands and their cultures.
Why Department of Translation and Interpreting in Turkey?
Turkey is a country that underwent a process of modernization in the 20th century by means of a translation movement launched under the auspices of the government in the 1940s. Getting a university education in the field of translation and interpreting bears a particular significance in Turkey since it has opened up to the world more and more through the steps it has taken in the recent years. Every year, millions of pages are translated as part of the acquis communautaires of the European Union as well as for international companies.
The main goal of the undergraduate education given in the various language programs as part of the curriculum of Translation and Interpreting is to train translators and interpreters who have a great command of a second language in addition to Turkish and who are experts in communication with a competent grasp of the cultures of both languages. The program aims for its graduates, who have completed their training in written and oral translation, to be equipped with theoretical and critical knowledge of the field of translation, the ability to take an analytic approach to problems pertaining to language and communication, and with practical experience in translation. The ideal standard set before the students of this department is to acquire at least one more foreign language besides English sufficiently well as to be able to perform translation using it, and to be acquainted with issues and terminology in the areas of politics, economics, literature, history, and law as well as all other social disciplines.
Education of Translation and Interpreting in Turkey
The departments that provide education on foreign languages in Turkish universities can be divided into three main categories: Departments of teaching in education faculties, language and literature departments in faculties of letters, and translation and interpreting departments usually gathered under the umbrella of Translation and Interpreting. At the undergraduate level, translation and interpreting departments in Turkey provide programs primarily in western languages such as German, English, and French. As its distinctive quality in comparison to the other foreign language programs, translation and interpreting, given its specific position, analyzes the phenomenon of translation holistically and bases its program on the practical application of translation and interpreting.
Currently, more than 50 departments in Turkey conduct education on academic translation at the undergraduate level in German, English, French, Russian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Arabic, and Persian. Translation and interpreting departments select their students with a test that measures their proficiency level in the language they will be studying. Some departments accept students based on a different foreign language score and teach the language of the program with a one-year preparatory course. Master's and doctoral programs accept students in three foreign languages (German, English, and French). These students may have graduated from different departments. Some departments also have a quota for international students, and these foreign nationals with an undergraduate degree obtained from outside Turkey can enroll in these programs. One of the foremost objectives of master's and doctoral education is to train researches and academics in the field of translation and interpreting, which is still a fledgling science.
The courses taught in the Department of Translation and Interpreting are principally aimed at cultivating a consciousness of language and culture acquisition both for Turkish and the second language being taught. In addition, theoretical and practical courses are part of the program. These are mostly comparative lingual-textual-cultural analyses for the aim of translation, the theory of translation, and those that endow the students with the basic translation skills required. The students take a number of common translation courses usually until the end of the second year, and then they are particularly trained in written and oral translation for their chosen field of specialization (e.g. law, economics etc). Among the courses given in the second half of their education are translations in specific areas, technical translation, intralinguistic translation (rewording), literary translation, specialized knowledge and translation, and translation criticism.
Qualifications Required of Students and Job Opportunities
It is a prerequisite for a student willing to study in the department of translation and interpreting to have a sufficient command of Turkish and the language, in which the program is conducted, be able to produce texts in both, and also have a good knowledge of the culture of each language.
Owing to the theoretical and practical education they have received, the graduates of translation and interpreting have the possibility of working in Turkey as experts of culture and communication, and they can also work in other countries, where their second language is spoken, in any field that requires having the necessary skills for cultural communication. In addition to the fields of freelance translation, editing, or book translation, they can work as translators in private companies, translation offices, or in official institutions such as consulates or embassies that maintain relations between states and governments. Due to their qualifications and cultural and scientific knowledge, the graduates of this department can also be employed in the sectors of media, advertising, public relations, and finance, holding various positions such as manager, assistant, or secretary. The science of translation promises to train cultural experts by endowing the translator candidates with vast cultural knowledge and by cultivating in them an awareness for language and culture.
Amongst the answers given to the questions posed by man in his quest for meaning in this world, the ones provided by Islamic sciences occupy a significant place. All of these sciences emerged directly in relation to the divine revelation, and their ultimate goal is to determine the true nature of the God-man-cosmos relationship. These sciences emerged in the Islamic civilization in light of the notion of "having faith and doing good, righteous work", which very succinctly formulates what was revealed by God through His Last Prophet.
The great Islamic scholar Ibn Khaldun says that every religion has given birth to sciences on its own and according to its own particular set of principles. Rational sciences such as philosophy, mathematics, and physics are a common ground for all humanity, yet religious sciences are private in that they are each is derived by a certain faith. For with the advent of every new body of revelation, a whole new world emerges. In this case, a new body of sciences must develop that will deal with this new spiritual world starting to originate based on the new revelation. Religion plays an important role in history by impacting on its course though these sciences. The sciences that emerged in the Islamic civilization are usually referred to as transmitted, legal, or religious sciences; whereas, Ibn Khaldun prefers to call them simply as "Islamic sciences."
Islamic sciences devlopeddue to deep and hard contemplation by the Companions of the Prophet and the following generations on their knowledge of the Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet.Such sciences were handed down from one generation to the next in the hands of great scholars such as Abu Hanifa, Imam Shafi'i, Imam Ghazzali, Fakhruddin al-Razi, Abu's-Su'ud, and Ibn Abidin, to name only a few. Studying in the field of Islamic theology would be a step towards becoming a part of this long-established tradition.
Why Islamic Theology in Turkey?
The Ottoman State, whose inheritor is Turkey, was the bearer of a tradition of knowledge and learning dating back centuries since it had become the political and intellectual center of the Islamic civilization, particularly following the Mamluks. Ottoman madrasas managed to build up a unique tradition of Islamic sciences by combining the contributions of many scholars that came from all corners of the Islamic world, and these madrasas carried this tradition all across the Ottoman lands, and primarily to Rumelia. Lying at the heart of this long-established tradition, Turkish faculties of Islamic theology have taken it upon themselves to convey to the future generations this vast body of Islamic sciences that have remained intact to the present day after a centuries-long developing phase. Students who want to study Islamic theology in Turkey will have the opportunity to study Islamic sciences with all its richness without plunging into the bigotry of promoting any one particular school of thought or jurisprudence to the exclusion of others. In addition, unlike other Islamic countries, faculties of Islamic Theology in Turkey teach Islamic sciences accompanied by philosophy, religious studies, Islamic art and literature, and for this reason students are presented with the opportunity to study in, so to say, a full-fledged Islamic university. Most of these faculties have a very intense one-year Arabic preparatory course for the students who do not know the mother tongue of Islamic sciences.
Education in Faculties of Islamic Theology
Faculties of Islamic Theology consist of three main departments. At the undergraduate level, students take courses from all three of these.
Basic Islamic Sciences: Making up the backbone of the faculties of Islamic theology, this department teaches the sciences that flourished in fields like law and ethics, which arose from the key sources of Islam by contemplating on the knowledge in these sources. Some of the sciences taught in this department are Islamic Theology (kalam), Quranic Exegesis (tafsir), Hadith, Islamic Law, Sufism (Tasawwuf), History of Islamic Sects, Arabic Language and Eloquence, Reading the Qur'an and the Science of Recitation. Of these sciences, which we can define as "transmitted sciences", Quranic Exegesis deals with understanding and explaining the Qur'ân; Hadith aims for collecting, evaluating and recording the words, deeds and tacit approvals of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and then accurately conveying them to the future generations; Islamic theology deals with the dimension of faith; and Sufism deals with the spiritual world of man and the deeds he performs internally with his heart. Islamic law / jurisprudence deals with man's external deeds that take place in the outside world, seeking to ensure a life that will lead to gaining the contentment of God by establishing a balance between the divine revelation and human actions. Arabic Language and Eloquence aims to teach Arabic, the mother tongue of Islamic sciences, with all its subtleties; Reading the Quran and the Science of Recitation aims to teach a correct reading of the Quran as well as the basic knowledge on the science of reciting the Qur'ân; History of Islamic Sects aims, through comparative studies, to deal with the main approaches of the Islamic sects. This department has also a course that covers the current religious movements in the Islamic world and is thus very conducive to getting to know the contemporary Islamic world better. Basic Islamic sciences are taught alongside their particular methodologies that were devised to teach them more effectively. In this way, students have the chance to find out about the formative stages of these sciences, while also deepening their knowledge on each of the sciences they are taught. Another principle taken into account while teaching these sciences is that individual topics are scrutinized comparatively and not taught in the framework of a single sect.
Philosophy and Religious Studies: One of the aspects that makes theological education in Turkey more advantageous compared to other Islamic countries is that philosophy and religious sciences are taught in an integrated manner with the courses of Islamic theology. One of the greatest gains of the students studying Islamic theology in Turkey is that they have the chance to be acquainted with a very large scope of topics ranging from the connection between intelligence and the divine revelation to the thoughts of the significant representatives of the Islamic philosophy tradition, from the connection between Islamic philosophy and Western philosophy to the opportunity of studying the psychological and social dimensions of religion in a scientific environment. The fundamental disciplines included in Philosophy and religious sciences are the following: Religious Education, Philosophy of Religion, Psychology of Religion, Sociology of Religion, History of Religions, History of Philosophy, Islamic Philosophy and Logic. Religious Education deals with the procedures and techniques of teaching religion to people of all ages; Philosophy of Religion deals with the nature of religious knowledge and with some philosophical problems - primarily that of evil - particularly within the framework of the issue of God; Psychology of Religion deals with the relationship between people's mental and spiritual condition and their religious faith and life; Sociology of Religion deals with the dimension of religion as reflected on the social life; History of Religions deals with the basic creeds and the enjoined behavior principles of major religions; History of Philosophy deals with the accumulated philosophical knowledge of the Islamic civilization in comparison to Eastern and Western philosophical traditions; and Logic deals with the ancient accumulated knowledge and experience of humanity in terms of the effort to reach accurate and reliable knowledge.
Islamic History and Arts: This department is part of the Faculty of Islamic Theology in order to supplement the education of theology in terms of history, art, and literature, and its main courses are Islamic History, History of Turkish-Islamic Arts, Turkish-Islamic Literature, and Turkish Religious Music. The course of Islamic History aims to deal with the history of Islam as a whole from its beginnings and endow its students with the knowledge of a wide range of subbranches in this field such as "History of Islamic Institutions," "History and Geography of Islamic Countries," Paleography," "Sirah (The Prophet's Life) and Its Sources," and "History of Turkish Culture" History of Turkish-Islamic Arts examines the developments in architecture and fine arts particularly in the regions ruled by Turkish states. In this context, there are courses taught on "Islamic Arts and Aesthetics", "Fine Arts", "History of the Turkish Art of Calligraphy" and the "Ottoman Architecture." The Turkish-Islamic Literature focuses on the basic texts of Turkish literature especially from the Islamic periods, also covering literary criticism and textual analysis. Turkish Religious Music aims to examine religious music, which reached its zenith in the Ottoman period, in terms of maqams and words; and through its Turkish Music Ensemble, it practically encourages its students for performing what they learn. If they choose to do so, the students have the opportunity to get nay (reed flute), kanun (a zither-like Turkish instrument; the piano of Turkish Music, so to say) and maqam lessons.
Given the richness and diversity of the departments, a student who will receive theological education in Turkey will be studying in a university, rather than a faculty, as he/she will be acquiring considerable knowledge on philosophy, literature, history, sociology, psychology, and art history in addition to taking the basic courses of Islamic sciences.
Qualifications Required of Students and Job Opportunities
Being proficient in one or more of the languages of Turkish, Arabic, Persian, and English will provide a significant advantage to the students who wish to study Islamic theology. In addition, a minimum knowledge of the Holy Qur'an in terms of reading and memorization and having basic Islamic knowledge at the level of faith and worship are among the elements that will greatly assist a potential candidate. Being interested in learning foreign languages, having the ability to work for long periods of time focusing on certain subjects, and possessing advanced verbal and emotional intelligence will also contribute to the success rate in theological education.
Thirty percent of all the undergraduate courses are taught in Arabic in the faculties of Islamic Theology which offers an obligatory one-year Arabic preparatory course. There are also faculties of Islamic Theology whose entire programs are conducted in English. Furthermore, elective courses such as Ottoman Turkish, Persian, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew are taught by specialist teachers. Therefore, graduates of such faculties can proceed with their academic careers as highly qualified students into master's and doctoral programs in Turkey or different parts of the world. Since the graduates will be eligible for an internationally-recognized diploma, they will have the possibility to work as teachers, muftis, preachers, imams, and Qur'an teachers in many parts of the world.
Turkish faculties of Islamic Theology have a number of world renowned academics with international experience. Among them are; Prof. İsmail Kara, one of the leading experts on contemporary Islamism; Prof. Faruk Beşer, one of Turkey's most important experts in Islamic Law particularly with his mind-provoking solution proposals regarding contemporary juridical matters; Prof. Raşit Küçük, one of the most authoritative figures in the field of hadith, who was part of a committee of three scholars who translated Riyad as-Salihin(one of the most widely read hadith books in the Islamic world into Turkish with an annotated interpretation); Prof. İlhan Kutluer, one of the most notable experts of Islamic philosophy in Turkey; And Prof. Mustafa Kara, one of the most important authorities of the history of Sufism.
Philosophy is the ancestor of all sciences. It emerged as a result of the awe and curiosity human beings have towards the world they live in and their questioning of it. The philosopher, who approaches the object of their interest with childish questions in mind, never loses the ability to wonder - something we gradually lose as we grow up, and by asking questions like, "What is knowledge?", "How is a good life possible?", "Is there a meaning to this life?" and "What is existence?" develops an unfettered way of thinking freed of any ulterior economic motives. Being a search for wisdom, philosophy is after knowledge without seeking to gain any profit in return. This pure knowledge seeking no profit lies at the heart of all sciences, giving their questions and inquiries a particular direction. Acting as a resource for all sciences and arts in this way, philosophy is an inevitable human activity for people to make sense of the world they live in and achieve self-knowledge and self-realization.
Philosophy has developed and progressed through its historical adventure of thousands of years. Every community, language and culture has contributed to this millennia-old heritage in some way or other. The view that philosophy appeared only in the ancient Greeks and thus reflects only a western way of thinking is utterly wrong, one-sided and unfortunately European-centrist. Different philosophical approaches that have appeared in so many different times and places in the world as basic human ways of thinking have always been in contact and interaction with each other, thus surviving to the present day.
Why Department of Philosophy in Turkey?
When we consider why studying philosophy in Turkey matters, we find that Turkey is prominently situated in a region that has thoroughly inherited a vast philosophical and cultural heritage and in a philosophical climate with intersecting and colliding ways of thinking. Tens of philosophy departments scattered throughout Turkey follows an educational program that targets teaching the capabilities and systematic ways of thinking required for reading and interpreting the works of this vast philosophical heritage and developing new attitudes. In the courses opened as part of programs prepared by innumerous domestic and foreign experts in the key areas of philosophy such as logic, ethics, political philosophy, metaphysics, and aesthetics, the students are taught the history of philosophy and philosophical disciplines in a holistic and systematic way. They are presented with a quality and appropriate education that helps to develop a critical and inquisitive way of philosophical thinking.
The contents of these courses are extremely rich and diverse, and covering a wide range of topics from the philosophy of nature to phenomenology, from pre-Socratic philosophers to the German idealism, and from the Islamic philosophy to the contemporary analytic philosophy, they are divided into four main departments:
The Department of the History of Philosophy provides courses and seminars at the undergraduate and graduate levels on the birth and development of philosophy, its historical continuity and discontinuities, various approaches to philosophy adopted by different cultures and communities and the comparison of these to one another, and the leading philosophers and their teachings.
The Department of Logic provides courses and seminars at the undergraduate and graduate levels on both the classical and modern methods of logic that deals with the form and method of thinking, and also on theoretical as well as practical logic.
The Department of Systematic Philosophy provides courses and seminars at the undergraduate and graduate levels on the theory of knowledge, the philosophy of science, the philosophy of ethics, the philosophy of art, the philosophy of existence, human philosophy, the philosophy of culture, social philosophy, values, the philosophy of language, and the philosophy of history.
The Department of the Turkish-Islamic Thought aims at exploring, in undergraduate and graduate courses, the history of the main intellectual traditions of Islamic thought such as Islamic theology (kalam) and Sufism (tasawwuf), and especially that of philosophy extending from the classical eras to the Ottoman times, the problematic issues related to them, and issues regarding the modern Turkish thought.
With their large staff and rich curricula, departments of philosophy reflect their multicultural and multidisciplinary identities on the international arena by being in constant touch with foreign universities from America to the Middle East, and from Europe to Central Asia. There are philosophy departments that teach as part of their curricula classical languages, which are vitally important for the history of philosophy, such as Greek, Latin, Arabic, and Syriac, and also English, French, German, Modern Greek, and Persian, which are crucial in terms of contemporary thought.
Qualifications Required of Students and Job Opportunities
The student candidates who want to study philosophy in Turkey must be capable of critical thinking, interpreting and questioning, which will be an asset to them. Students of these programs acquire basic human skills such as generating liberal ideas, criticism and producing texts, questioning things, and substantiating thoughts.
Philosophy graduates can become philosophy teachers in high schools or have the opportunity to pursue an academic career through a graduate degree in philosophy. In addition, they can also work in the sectors of advertising and media as well as a number of other similar areas that do not directly relate to philosophy.
Philosophy departments in Turkey are shining out with their strong academic staff and competent philosophers. Önay Sözer, for instance, a professor of Systematic Philosophy and Logic, is involved with phenomenology and Hegelian philosophy, structuralism and post-structuralist challenges. Doğan Özlem examines issues such as logic, ethics, law, and social philosophy. Another important figure, Ahmet İnam's major fields of interest are Nietzsche, the philosophy of ethics and values, and contemporary philosophy.
Departments of philosophy are the determining force of the intellectual atmosphere in Turkey, and they continuously contribute to the intellectual and cultural life through the multilingual philosophy journals they publish, and through conferences, panels, and colloquies attended by a large number of domestic and foreign guests. It is a great privilege to be in the center of such an intellectual atmosphere in a country like Turkey, which utilizes its intellectual opportunities in an exceptional way.
Archaeology endeavors to understand and explain the history and civilization of the world based upon material left behind by ancient people focusing on periods were the beginnings of the human adventure on the planet began - periods about which there is nothing in written sources. As it seeks to reveal the religious, economic, socio-cultural structures and technological possibilities of ancient times and communities, archaeology is undoubtedly of vital importance and is a discipline that has very intimate ties with many fields of science. Archaeology, in this regard, stands on a very pivotal ground in terms of figuring out the extent of the progresses made by humanity particularly prior to the invention of writing, and therefore making better sense of where we stand today. This being its role, archaeology grants us vital knowledge to help appreciate our existence better.
The regions where the religious, economic, and sociocultural formations in question took place, in other words, the first settlement areas, constitute the main working grounds and sources for this field of science, which basically tries to understand the human / social activities that took place in prehistoric times.
Why Department of Archaeology in Turkey?
Turkey is situated in a region where the first known human settlements were located, and this fact makes Turkey a very appealing place in which to study archaeology. Indeed, Turkey is home to large excavation areas that have the potential to change as well as direct the history of humanity, and to the scientific knowledge that began to emerge from the 19th century on and that evolved under the corporate umbrella and discipline of universities from the second half of the 20th century. On the other hand, this valuable position of Turkey makes it a meeting and working point for domestic and foreign archaeologists, helping thereby to create significant academic networks here. The number of excavation works currently underway in Turkey numbers over 200. Some of the more prominent ones among them are Göbekli Tepe, the oldest known temple in the history of mankind; Patara, which houses the world's oldest lighthouse; Lagina, which is home to one of Christianity's oldest chapels; Yeni Kapı, where the world's largest collection of ancient ships was unearthed, and the excavations in Ephesus, which host the founding elements of the ancient Greek civilization.
Archaeology education in Turkey is carried out through three main departments: Prehistory, Protohistory and Asia Minor, and Classical Archaeology.
The Department of Prehistory focuses on the period from the beginning of human history up to the invention of writing. In this department, the main body of the curriculum consists of courses that deal with the cultural, economic, and technological dimensions, and processes of change of the hunting-gathering period, and these processes of change are tried to be observed through archaeological remains. The Department of Protohistory and Asia Minor concentrates on the period up to about the 6th century BC when the first cultural remains were brought to the light. The Paleolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Bronze, and Iron Ages are the main areas of interest in this department, and therefore it examines Anatolia, Mesopotamia, and Iran, and the Sumerian, Urartu, Hittite, and Phrygian cultures established in these lands. Classical Archaeology aims to examine in depth the Antiquity, which corresponds to a period between the 6th and the 3rd centuries BC, that is, to the time of the Greek and Roman civilizations. This department concentrates its efforts mainly on the Western and Southern Anatolia and the Greek mainland, and eventually aims for a careful interpretation of the findings discovered in these regions.
In the overarching faculty of Archaeology, courses belonging to all three of these departments are given equally at the undergraduate level with a consideration for the chronological course of history. The changes in the natural environment, numismatics, museology, architecture, sculpture, photography, drawing techniques and related computer programs, and the archaeological development processes of various basins of civilization are also taught as supplementary courses. Therefore, for the duration of a four-year undergraduate program, the period of time from the prehistoric ages up to the beginnings of the Byzantine era is taught with a holistic perspective. The Greek and Latin languages, which take on even greater importance when it comes to classical archaeology in particular, are among the most essential courses offered in Archaeology departments. Postgraduate education is organized by the above mentioned departments, and the central emphasis of the undergraduate program offered by each department differs accordingly.
Qualifications Required of Students and Job Opportunities
Since the science of archaeology is considerably devoid of any written sources, it calls for the skill to conduct a serious analysis based on the findings at hand. Among the skills and qualifications that will give an archaeologist candidate a head start, apart from the ability for analysis, are a deep knowledge of the history of civilization and culture, the knowledge of architecture -especially if the student plans on doing an undergraduate program- and also the knowledge of Latin and some archaic languages. Additionally, western languages, and especially English, are necessary for post-graduate studies. Archaeology departments select their graduate students from a relatively larger spectrum of disciplines, but when it comes to doctoral programs, students of Archaeology, Architecture and Art History are predominantly preferred on the basis of their scientific competence.
Graduates of the archaeology department can become academics; they can also work in directorates and institutions established by local governments and central administrations, a large number of international museums that are home to archaeological findings, non-governmental organizations, and the tourism sector.
Art, being one of the most important indicators and concrete outcomes of culture and civilization, is, in itself, a very valuable activity, and is also quite meritorious in that it reflects the political, social, religious, and economic atmosphere in which it originated. When works of art, which express, in a refined manner, the values of the era and society in which they emerged, are analyzed with the correct viewpoint, method, and tools, they tell us a great deal of things not only on art but also on civilization. Therefore, Art History should be seen as part of the history of civilization as well as art.
Why Department of Art History in Turkey?
In terms of the studies that have been made so far in the field of Art History, which has close ties to the departments of Archaeology and Architecture given the subjects they deal with, the objects they analyze, and the methods they employ, Turkey, as in other fields, presents very rich opportunities. Being the stage of the Byzantine, Seljuk, Ottoman and Republican eras and home to their traditions, Turkey possesses the roots of both the western and Islamic arts, and this makes it an important center for art history studies. Art History, as of its subjects, takes over the relay from Archaeology, which examines the period from the beginnings of human history up to the foundation of the Byzantine Empire, and analyzes the art perception of the Byzantine-Western culture and the Islamic-Ottoman culture as well as today's perceptions on, products of, and approaches to art, and tries to understand and explain the developmental processes undergone by different branches of art that stem from painting, architecture, iconography, calligraphy, sculpture, and handicrafts.
Art History Education
Art History departments have been organized into three departments given their particular qualities coming from the chronological courses they have each followed and their contents. They conduct their studies within this context:
The Department of Turkish and Islamic Art evaluates the cultural and political structures, artistic activities, and cultural symbols of the Turkish communities that lived in Asia in pre-Islamic times, and also the artifacts dug out in the excavations belonging to the periods in question. The courses then focus on the Islamic periods, and artifacts and all sorts of findings belonging to the eras of the Seljuk State, the Anatolian Principalities, the Ottoman State, and the Turkish Republic are assessed from the perspective of art history. Although architecture, traditional handicrafts (ceramics, illuminations, miniature paintings, Arabic calligraphy), and cultural history are the prominent topics about this period, the contents of these arts from pre-Islamic times are given equal importance.
The Department of Byzantine Art concentrates on the Byzantine cultural and political structure, its relationship with the surrounding cultural entities, the implications of the Byzantine-era architectural works in Istanbul and Anatolia in terms of art history, and the fields of Byzantine sculptures, miniatures and manuscripts, and in addition, it traces the tracks of the Byzantine-Islamic Ottoman interactions in the works of art in question.
The Department of Western Art and Contemporary Art deals with the development of Western art as a strong element that gave direction to contemporary art, its fundamental concepts and parameters, and its reflections on fields like painting, architecture, and sculpture. On the other hand, among the fields this department concentrates on are contemporary art theories and how they impacted on Turkish art during its modernization phase.
Although these three areas of the department have different focuses, a joint program is given at the undergraduate level, and the fundamental approaches, concepts, and issues of each department are discussed within a chronological perspective. In addition, courses on cultural history, mythology, numismatics, Ottoman Turkish, Latin, English, and excavation and drawing techniques are also included in that they are areas that inform the studies on art history. On the other hand, the rich cultural heritage of Turkey is part of the education of Art History, and particularly in summertime a good many study trips and excavations are organized to better appreciate this heritage.
Since the Department of Art History aims for an interdisciplinary education, it accepts students to its graduate programs from a wide range of fields, but for its doctoral program, which is intended for a greater specialization, it requires having finished a graduate program in a closely related discipline such as art history, architecture, and archaeology.
Qualifications Required of Students and Job Opportunities
Having an advanced accumulation of knowledge on the cultural history of the field to be specialized in, and a good command of Latin, Ottoman Turkish, or Arabic will raise the level of the research projects to be done on Art History.
Graduates of Art History have the opportunity to be employed for excavation projects, can work in public and private museums, and with a sufficient knowledge of foreign languages, they can work as tourist guides as well.
The Department of Geography aims to acquaint students with the knowledge of the field through analyses of cultural and natural phenomena, natural processes, formations, and transformations. This characteristic ties geography with social sciences such as history and economics, and natural sciences such as biology and geology. Due to its complex nature, geography should not be reduced to being only a science that defines the world but should be considered as a whole made up of natural and human sciences such as biology, chemistry, physics, history, sociology, anthropology and international relations. In today's academic world, which has an ever growing interdisciplinary quality, the importance of geography is increasing by the day. Owing to global warming, nature receives a lot of coverage and attention all over the world, there is growing need for experts to work on the emergence of the cosmos, the relations between the cosmos and the society, and the consequences of these relations; namely, these are geography graduates.
Geographers work in various areas such as economic geography, environmental geography, geographic education, geographic technology, anthropogeography and cultural geography, physical geography, regional geography, and different areas such as urban and regional planning.
Why Geography in Turkey?
The departments of geography in Turkey have a well-established tradition that follows the above-mentioned considerations. The geography departments of Istanbul and Ankara universities have their own specific tradition and are some of the few geography departments that are almost as old as the Republic itself. In addition, both public and private universities have many geography departments that meet the above-mentioned criteria. Moreover, Turkey's climate where it is possible to experience all four of the seasons and its rich physical geography meet both the theoretical and practical requirements of a geography department. Another advantage is that some universities offer geography education in English.
Departments of Geography in Turkey are as follows:
Human Geography analyzes the classification of population according to its geographical distribution, age, gender, and activities; and also the dwelling and settlement patterns of the population as well as materials used in construction. Many universities in Turkey have a graduate program in Human Geography.
Geographical Information Systems is the name given to the whole of the hardware, software, geographic data, and methods that help to gather, process, store, convert, analyse, inquire, and present huge volumes of data about a whole geographical area for the purpose of facilitating the related authorities in their decisions that should be based on geographical characteristics toward the solution of worldwide complex economic, social, cultural, and environmental problems. Geographic Information Systems is a department that offers education on geography, cartography and computer science. Many universities in Turkey have graduate programs in this department.
Physical Geography: the main subject of this department is the existing land forms and shapes such as mountains, seas, plateaus and their historical topography, and how they have formed. Many universities in Turkey have graduate and doctoral programs in this discipline.
The main courses taught in departments of geography in Turkey and their scopes are as follows:
Development of Geographical Thought covers the subjects of the birth of the science of geography and the emergence of geographical thought. Scientists and thinkers that have contributed to the development of the discipline of geography are examined in this course.
Human and Economic Geography explores the population of a country and this population's opportunities in all aspects of life. The education, diversity, distribution, ethnic and religious composition of a population and its relation to economy are the subjects of this course.
The development and transformation of the city, the oldest product of human history, is examined in the light of Urban History. The impacts of geography on the historical development of the city are studied with various types of urban civilizations in mind.
Geographic Information System Applications aims at educating the students to effectively use geographic information systems described above.
Population of Turkey studies the ethnic, economic and cultural aspects of the population. The historical changes and transformations undergone by the population are also in the scope of the course. Migrations from and to Turkey are also examined in this context.
Qualifications Required of Students and Job Opportunities
To be successful in geography departments, students need to have a strong visual memory and computer skills, and also familiarity with computer programs.
Geographers are needed in areas such as land use, urban and regional planning, environment, tourism, health, water resources, forestry, mining, agriculture, industry, commerce, meteorology, and the military. Graduates of geography have the opportunity to work in these enumerated areas. In addition, they can work as teachers in public and private schools, pursue an academic career or work as an expert in the field of geographic information systems in both the public and private sector.
Prof. Süha Göney can be mentioned as a leading figure in the field of geography in Turkey.
To learn a language endows one not only with the ability to communicate with the people who speak that language, but also with the opportunity to be able to penetrate all areas of its culture. The abilities and opportunities in question are of paramount importance at a time when there is mass communication occurring on a global scale and taking up so much space in daily life, with the notions of nation and state shaking off their traditional meanings through such giant factors like globalization. In this regard, the knowledge of foreign languages lies at the heart of economic and cultural exchanges made by international factors and actors like states as well as prominent individuals, and it is therefore becoming more and more important and effective.
Why Study in Language and Literature Departments in Turkey?
Turkey is a country with close historical and current ties to so many cultural basins with its rich ethnic structure and geopolitical location. Its status taking on even greater importance in the international arena, and its growing and deepening relations with the European Union, African and Asian countries carry Turkey to an advantageous position in terms of foreign language education. On the other hand, Turkey's imperial heritage reinforces this position particularly in terms of Balkan, Caucasian/Russian, and Middle Eastern studies and languages. The reason is, the Turks have nurtured good neighborly relations with Hungary and Russia since the Ottoman times, and also influenced the Indian subcontinent, including Pakistan, during the era of Akbar Shah. Therefore, a language training to be received in Turkey in the following departments we shall shortly introduce will not merely be an ordinary course period, but a very beneficial process on account of Turkey's great resources that facilitate a better understanding of the history and communities of the countries in question.
The Turkish Republic Directorate of International Turkish and Relative Communities of the Prime Ministry supports the education of the following foreign languages for the above-mentioned reasons.
Indology is the academic study of the history and cultures, languages, and literature of India with its past and present. In this sense, it must be underlined that Indology is not merely a language study. Indology, or Indian Studies, is designed to examine the social and religious structure of India, which is very deep-rooted, rich and complex, and its literature, folklore, art, architecture, and mythology. Indology, due to its complexity regarding its subject matters, has close relations with sociology, anthropology, art history, history of religions, archaeology, literature, and history. The Indology graduate education focuses mainly on the Indian language, Indian mythology, Indian philosophy, and Indian literature.
Urdu Language and Literature
The Urdu Language and Literature department has a program centered on the teaching of the Urdu Language and Literature, which has an important position in terms of Islamic history and culture. On the other hand, it focuses not only on the Urdu language, but also on the rich culture, history and mythology of Pakistan and India from a literary perspective. One of the main objectives of the program is to encourage its students, who graduate as philologists, for academic research and publications. In the graduate education of the Urdu Language and Literature, there is greater emphasis on the Urdu literature.
Russian Language and Literature
Russian, one of the five official languages adopted by the United Nations, is spoken not only in Russia, but also in a large geographical land, in almost all of the Central Asian and Caucasian countries. In addition to its prominence in the international arena, Russian was one of the major mediums of the 19th and 20th centuries in literary, philosophical, and military terms. In this regard, Russian matters a lot not only in the sense of understanding and appreciating the language and its literature, but to better perceive and explain world history (particularly in the centuries in question). On the other hand, Turkey has always been in close interaction with Russia, be it positive or negative, and for this reason, it is a very appropriate place to study Russian Language and Literature, particularly because of its geographical closeness to Russia and its historical heritage.
Russian Language and Literature aims at teaching the Russian language, literature, and culture in a holistic manner, and concentrates in its undergraduate education more on grammar, language, culture, art, history, and translation techniques; however, in its graduate education, it directs its students toward areas of specialization on a wide spectrum such as history of religions, mythology, politics, literature, and philosophy.
The Department of Hungarology examines the Hungarian language, the Hungarian history, society, culture and literature, its classical works as well as the Ottoman / Turkish-Hungarian relations at undergraduate and graduate levels. Techniques for translating from Hungarian are one of the primary subjects in the curriculum, just like in other language and literature departments. There were always very dynamic relations between the Ottomans and the Hungarians throughout history, and the large-scale interactive processes between the two countries throughout the 20th century deeply affected the cultures of both. Turkey is one of the most preferable places for studying Hungarology due to its historical accumulation and the potential intensity of the present-day Turkish-Hungarian relations.
Polish Language and Literature
The Polish Language and Literature program focuses, on the one hand, on language courses such as the phonetic and grammatical structure of the Polish language, and on the other scrutinizes from various perspectives the historical course of the Polish literature from the Medieval Age to present day. Some other major areas the department focuses on include the history of the Polish culture and Polish cinema. Those who are interested in Russian can take it as an elective course. Graduate education basically concentrates on the same topics, however in more depth.
Qualifications Required of Students and Job Opportunities
The primary condition sought in applications to any foreign language department is the knowledge of that language at a competent level that would allow the students to participate in the program without having major difficulties. However, at the graduate level, students with a B.A. degree in the same program are preferred more by the departments. In addition, the ability to think analytically and a strong interest in the field are among the most prominent factors that make the training process in this field more beneficial and efficient since language and literature departments focus on a wide range of subjects from archaeology to philosophy, and from art history to history and sociology.
Graduates of these departments, which have been briefly introduced here, have the chance to be employed in a wide area of employment. Above all, all of these departments are the right choices for an academic career. Although the students of these departments gain the title of "philologist" upon graduation, they have the opportunity to pursue an academic career in a wide range of disciplines as they also receive education on history, literature, sociology, and even archaeology in addition to languages. In addition to the possibility of having an academic career, they can work in a large number of public and private institutions, and especially in foreign ministries and their related units, ministries of culture, international organizations, the sectors of tourism, finance, import-export and publishing, in short, in any field that requires translators.