Division of Eastern Mediterranean Languages

The Division of Eastern Mediterranean Languages offers a minor in Turkish.

More than 75 million people speak Turkish, most of them in Turkey, where Turkish is the official language. Turkish is also spoken by many living in areas that had been governed by the Ottoman Empire, such as in the Balkans, Cyprus, and areas of the Middle East.

Turkish is an important minority language in many European countries, especially Germany, where Turkish “guest workers” have been contributing to the German economy and enriching German culture and cuisine since the 1970s. Turkish communities, think tanks, business associations, and cultural organizations are also increasingly visible in the United States.

Many students study Turkish in order to communicate with Turkish speakers, to travel in Turkey, and to accomplish various types of academic study of the Republic of Turkey, which is a strategic partner of the West, a NATO member, a fascinating center of deep-rooted and diverse culture, and a legitimate contender for the title of “Bridge between East and West.”

Modern Turkish, written since 1928 in the Latin script (like English), is also an excellent language to study in preparation for working with Ottoman Turkish documents. It is also helpful as background for the study of the related Turkic languages of Azerbaijani, Gagauz, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tatar, Turkmen, Uyghur, and Uzbek. Because of features such as “vowel harmony” and “agglutination” and its regular grammar with a logic unrelated to Indo-European and Semitic languages, Turkish is also a favorite of scholars in the field of linguistics.

Because of the long-standing commitment to a minimum of three full years of language courses, along with the availability of a range of courses about Ottoman history and modern Turkish politics, history, security issues, and culture, Georgetown has one of the strongest Turkish programs in the U.S. Students who pursue the minor in Turkish from Georgetown will have a strong background in the language, culture, and regional affairs of a major power connected to the Middle East, Europe, and Central Asia.

Minor in Turkish

Requirements for the minor

The minor in Turkish requires a minimum of six courses, at least one of which must be a core course in Turkish Studies taught in English. 

Core courses in Turkish Studies will vary semester to semester, along the following themes:

  • Ottoman History 
  • Modern Turkish History
  • Turkish Culture 
  • Turkish Politics 

Courses in Turkish Language:

  • Intensive Beginning Turkish I and II (TURK-011 and 012, 6 credits each)
  • Intermediate Turkish I and II (TURK-021 and 022, 3 credits each) 
  • Advanced Turkish I and II (TURK-201 and 202, 3 credits each) 
  • Media Turkish (TURK-214, 3 credits)
  • Ottoman Turkish (TURK-350, 3 credits) 
  • Course on Turkish translation

Students who stop at the intermediate level of Turkish language will be required to take three courses in Turkish Studies, and thus seven courses in total, in order to earn the minor. Students who begin their study of Turkish beyond the beginning level may substitute additional electives in Turkish Studies with approval of the program director.

Additional electives in Turkish Studies can count in the minor with approval of the program director. Transfer courses or study abroad courses in Turkish may also be counted in the minor, on the basis of placement exam and with the approval of the program director.

For more information about the minor, visit the program website or contact the program director, Prof. Sylvia Önder, at onders@georgetown.edu