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Family Gift Strengthens Turkish Studies

February 13, 2008 | by Wendy Leopold
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University has received a generous gift from Melih and Zeynep Keyman that will further strengthen the University's Keyman Family Program in Modern Turkish Studies and increase knowledge about Turkey and its importance in the world.

"Previous support by the Keyman family made it possible in 2005 to launch Northwestern's program in Turkish studies," said Andrew Wachtel, dean of The Graduate School and director of the Roberta Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies. "The new Keyman gift will allow the program to add course offerings, hold more events in the area of Turkish studies and develop long-term relationships with Turkish institutions that result in faculty, student and scholarly exchanges."

Earlier this academic year, visiting scholar Sevket Pamuk -- one of the most respected economic historians of the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey -- taught two well-received courses on the Evanston campus (one on Turkey and Modernity and the other on Economic History of the Middle East). He was a key participant in a two-day conference on the economic aspects of the rise and decline of empires.

Pamuk also participated in a roundtable discussion late last year on the possibility of a Turkish operation in Northern Iraq and its possible impact for the region.

In addition to bringing renowned visiting Turkish faculty to campus, the Keyman Program also has brought Turkish cultural luminaries to Northwestern. Among them are Nobel Prize-winning novelist Orhan Pamuk, whose books have been translated into more than 20 languages, and musician Fazil Say, a regular guest pianist with the New York Philharmonic, St. Petersburg Philharmonic and other world-renowned orchestras.

The Keyman Program initiates and sustains active relationships with many Turkish institutions, including Bilgi, Bogazici, Isik and Sabanci universities. An affiliate Northwestern program offers students the opportunity to study at Bogazici University.

Last summer 20 students studied in Istanbul at Bilgi University. A newly developed course titled Pop Culture in Turkey: Media, Arts and Lifestyle will be taught there this summer in addition to courses on Islam and the West and on City and Civilization in the Eastern Mediterranean World. The latter two were offered last summer as well.

In June, Northwestern's Roberta Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies will offer a faculty development seminar in Istanbul to expand faculty expertise in Turkey and to build relationships leading to more international exchange opportunities for students, faculty and scholars.
Topics: University News