Turkish was the language of the Ottoman Empire, a superpower in the world between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries which ruled over much of Eastern Europe, the Near East, and the Mediterranean rim. Modern day Turkey is a geographical bridge between the continents of Asia and Europe, linked by the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul. It has relationships with the European Union and is involved in international organizations such as NATO, while maintaining friendly ties with neighboring countries. Turkish is one of the most important investment languages for people interested in the EU, Middle Eastern studies, world history, international relations, politics, economics, music, archeology, architecture, and tourism.
It is a language that is gaining popularity as a foreign language in the United States and in other parts of the world, because of the growing geo-political role that Turkey now plays in global relations. Many current government and educational jobs concerning Europe, the Middle East and Asia favor those with proficiency in Turkish. Turkish certainly represents a major-access language to numerous opportunities in the regions where it is spoken. For questions specifically about Turkish at SILMW please contact Dr. Ayse Ozcan at aozcan @illinois.edu.
Photo: Christian Triebert