A Critical Comparison of Turkish Studies within and out of Turkey

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review


The history of founding Turkish Studies in the West dates back to the West's exotic interest in the Orient and their faith in gaining superiority by investigating the East. Nevertheless, Turkish Studies of the renowned Western universities are presently far from such motivations and agendas. Yet, these departments which are expected to be offshoots of the authentic Turkish Studies of Turkey do not show much similarity with their Turkish counterparts. For instance, Turkish Studies in the West exist under different schools and faculties, offer completely different teaching programs and research scopes and appoint academics whose scholarly background and research expertise are dissimilar to experts of Turkish Studies in Turkey. Focusing on the Turkish Studies departments of the leading universities in the United States in particular, this paper firstly aims to draw attention to the orientalist traces that are manifest, for instance, in the embodiment of Turkish Studies under regional studies of the vast lands. Then, taking the other Western universities into account and identifying their similar characteristics as Western universities, this paper concludes their overarching similarity to be holistic. Next, reviewing the Turkish Studies programs in Turkey, this paper identifies the Turkish ones to be atomistic by specializing in particular sub-branches, topics and authors. After comparing and contrasting the two main approaches and discussing pros and cons of being holistic versus atomistic, this paper focuses on the problems originating from aforementioned sheer differences. Without seeing one superior to the other, this paper discusses how such differences can be utilized to establish a balanced approach and enrich one another by different modes of exchange between the two.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Symposium on Turkish Studies
Subtitle of host publicationIssues and Their Solutions
Place of PublicationIstanbul
PublisherYildiz Technical University Press
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventTUDES2012 - Istanbul-Turkey, Turkey
Duration: 01 Jan 2012 → …


Period01/01/12 → …


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