Why Learn Turkish

Why Learn Turkish

The idea of learning Turkish is strange for most American learners; 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 a necessity.
Since pre-historic times, Turkey has been the vital bridge between Europe and the Middle East. Its mighty Ottoman Empire consolidated much of Eastern Europe and the Middle East into one great civilization until the early 20th century. The flavor of Turkish culture is richly cosmopolitan, a sophisticated mix of ancient traditions in a contemporary Geist.

For Americans, Turkey’s liberal political and intellectual climate bridging East and West, traditional and modern, is a comforting environment. Learning Turkish gives access to many new opportunities for business, scientific and technological research, and for scholarship and journalism. Currently, students in Turkey are learning English at a record rate, while few Americans learn Turkish: to offset that imbalance of skill and opportunity, there is great need for Americans to meet the creative challenge of learning Turkish.

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

Turkey is a major power in the Middle East with a population of more than 70 million. Uniquely positioned between Europe and Asia geographically, culturally and politically, Turkey was invited to become a member nation of the European Union in 1999. Turkey is also a long time member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Turkey continues forming cloe cultural and business ties within the emerging Turkic states of the Caucus and Central Asia. Turkey is looked up to as successful inspiration to other other Turkic peoples.

Turkish is a key for accessing Turkic languages spoken by tens of millions of people in the Near East, the former Soviet Union, China, and the Balkans — all regions of vital strategic importance in the world today, including Uzbek, Tatar, Kazakh, Azeri and Turkmen.Modern Turkish is extremely helpful as a foundation skill if you are interested in learning the classical Ottoman Turkish.

According to The Wall Street Journal (March 1, 1995), “the U.S. Commerce Department has identified Turkey as one of the 10 emerging markets that will drive global growth in the next 15 years.” Few are prepared to take advantage of that opportunity; learning Turkish positions you for successes others let pass them by.

Business partnerships with Turkey and the USA are steadily growing, creating an ever increasing demand for educated Americans fluent in Turkish and with knowledge and understanding of both cultures. If you plan to enter government service or to do business in Turkey, fluency in Turkish is indispensable to your success. Business opportunities are rapidly opening in Turkey, and its pending membership in the European Union will only enhance its global business importance.

Numerous career opportunities already exist in technology, archaeology, computer science, ecological and environmental studies, and will grow with Turkey’s ever increasing emergence as a central economic power.

For students of political science and history specializing in Eastern European, Ottoman or modern Turkey, Turkish language skills open seldom entered research opportunities.

Anatolia, the territory of modern Turkey, has been the heartland of human civilization since 7,000 BCE. In Turkey, you can explore pre-historic Çatal Höyük, walk the routes travelled by Saint Paul, storm the city of Troy, visit the village of the last home of Mary (mother of Jesus), behold the sanctuary of Saint Nicholas, stroll on the shores where Homer visited and Cleopatra swam, and experience the alluring mystery of the whirling Dervishes.

Studying Turkish immerses you in Turkish cultural heritages – fine and performing arts, music, the Muslim religion – and gives you a depth of understanding far surpassing the shallow stereotypes of popular journalism. Such understanding makes you a valuable asset to corporations, government and other organizations promoting productive alliances with the Middle East. Turkish is FUN! With a Web of their own, Turkish learners learn great jokes heightening cross-cultural understanding, play games, and gain cultural understanding through cyber media bringing them into the music, events and youth culture of modern Turkey.

Turkish is spoken by roughly 250 million people all around the world. Like Finnish and Hungarian, Turkish is an agglutinative language, which means that new particles are added to the end of a base form to generate new words. This means one can easily observe slight changes in meaning and quickly learn new words. It is also one of the most eye-catching characteristics of Turkish.

Turkey is situated in the Northern Hemisphere at the junction of Europe and Asia. The European and Asian sides are divided by the Istanbul Bogazi (Bosphorus), the sea of Marmara and Çanakkale Boğazı. The surface area of the country is 814,578 sq km, and the population is approximately 70 million people. Anatolia is a high plateau region rising progressively towards the east, broken by the valleys of about 15 rivers. The mountains in the north and south run parallel to the sea. Due to the diversity in the landscape, Turkey enjoys a variety of climates throughout the country.

Besides Turkey’s magnificent landscape its fascinating history has also made a lasting impression on modern civilization. Political structure in Turkey is based on a secular democratic, pluralist and parliamentary system in which human rights are protected by law and justice. In Turkey one could definitely experience and enjoy an incredible diversity in nature, culture, history, beliefs and ideas.

There are many reasons to study Turkish, but one of the most important ones at the present time is that the global marketplace is becoming bigger and, as a result, the need for speakers of languages other than English (particularly as translators or interpreters) is increasing. Currently, U.S. federal statistics indicate that more than 31,000 individuals work as translators or interpreters in schools, health care, courts, airlines, and telecommunications. Further, due to the expansion of global commerce, the industry is expected to increase 26 percent in the next eight years!