Modern Turkish

at Columbia
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Turkish (Modern)

Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies

Language Contact and Email Address:

Zuleyha Colak


The idea of learning Turkish is new for most American students; but that rapidly changes to a sense of excitement as soon as the career opportunities and adventure of Turkey are discovered. Its central connections to Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East make doing business in Turkey, the 17th largest economy in the world, a necessity.

Here is a listing of very practical reasons for undertaking the Turkish adventure in learning:

Turkey has been the heartland of human civilization since 7,000 B.C.

In Turkey you can explore the roads traveled by St. Paul; visit the village which was the last home of Mary, the mother of Jesus, the village of Santa Claus and the historic city of Troy; swim on the shores where Homer sailed and Cleopatra swam; and experience the mystery of the Whirling Dervishes.

150 million people speak Turkish from the southeast of Europe to the borders of China.

Knowledge of modern Turkish is extremely helpful if you are interested in learning Ottoman Turkish or one of the Turkic languages of Central Asia (Uzbek, Tatar, Kazak, Azeri, and Turkmen).

It is also useful for conducting research or business both in Turkey and in Central Asia.

Taking courses in Turkish will allow you to fulfill the language requirement at Columbia.

Please check the Columbia Directory of Classes for the latest information on class times and locations