Turkish Course Catalog


Language Coursework

Turkic languages have a literary history which dates back 1,100 years, yet modern, standard Turkish is a creation of the Turkish revolutionary independence movement of the first half of the twentieth century. It is now the premier Turkic language and is spoken by over 45 million people in Europe and Asia. This three-course sequence (Turkish 1101-1103) is designed to guide students to proficiency in the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. This means that students, at the end of three semesters, are able to speak adequately in all social situations, and read and write all general, non-specialized material without frequent resort to dictionaries or grammars.

1101 Elementary Turkish I

Introduction to Turkish; development of listening, reading, speaking, and writing skills.  Typically offered Autumn semester.

In Turkish 1101, students learn the alphabet, basic conversational Turkish, and half the grammar content of the required text. They master at least 500 words in addition to basic grammatical items, and read and write simple prose of approximately one paragraph in length. Students will also be required to purchase the materials of the accompanying oral course at nominal cost. The final grade is determined on the basis of class attendance, homework, quizzes, one midterm test, and one final examination.


1102 Elementary Turkish II

Further development of listening, writing, speaking, and reading skills; reading of simplified Turkish texts.  Prereq: 1101, or placement exam.  Typically offered Spring semester.

In Turkish 1102, students develop and gain confidence in conversational Turkish, learn the second half of the grammatical content of the text, acquire a basic vocabulary of 1,500 words, and read and write simple prose approximately one page in length. The books and materials required for 1102 are the same as for 1101. The only prerequisite is successful completion of Turkish 1101 or the permission of the instructor. The final grade determination is made on the basis of class attendance, homework, quizzes, one midterm test, and one final examination.


1103 Intermediate Turkish I

Reading of Turkish short stories and poems with attention to literary and cultural appreciation; development of basic language skills.  Prereq: 1102, or placement exam.  Typically offered Autumn semester.

In Turkish 1103, students master conversation and social Turkish and read and write Turkish on general or non-specialized subjects without frequent recourse to bilingual dictionaries or grammars. With an active vocabulary of 1,500-5,000 words students are able to write two- or three-page summaries, presentations, and reports without extraordinary effort.  The required texts and dictionaries are the same as for 1102 and the final grade determination is on the basis of class attendance, homework, quizzes, a midterm test, and a final examination.


2101 Intermediate Turkish II

Extensive reading from literary texts, with practice in conversation and composition. Not open to native speakers of this language.  Prereq: 1103, or placement exam.  Typically offered Spring semester.


2102 Intermediate Turkish III

The study of nineteenth and twentieth-century texts, with advanced composition and translation.  Prereq: 2101, or placement exam.  Typically offered Autumn semester.

Students consolidate their command of Turkish composition, which is accomplished through regular assignment of compositions and readings in poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Students begin serious literary studies with an introduction to major nineteenth and twentieth century authors. Classes are conducted solely in Turkish with emphasis on speaking, using a variety of topics.


3001 Advanced Turkish Syntax

Focuses on the acquisition of advanced Turkish syntax, and specifically on subordinate clauses. It will include advanced readings in literature and non-fiction.  Prereq: 2102, or placement exam.  Typically offered Spring semester.


Seminars & Lectures

2241 Beyond Harems and Belly Dancers: Turkish Culture

An introduction to Turkish culture through reading of literature and criticism, and listening and viewing of films, slides, and performances arranged for the class.  Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 241. GE cultures and ideas and diversity global studies course.

This is a course exposing students to a diverse and living culture with a great and ancient heritage. Contributions of the local and international Turkish communities, in the form of performances arranged for the class, films, slides, and recordings, will form the in-class experience. Through these means and through assigned readings and discussion, students will comprehend the span and depth of the Turkish contribution to human values, and research one aspect of that culture in some detail according to his or her personal interests. By the end of the course students will have an enlightened understanding of the Turkish role in shaping human history and contemporary events.


2701 Mystics, Sultans, Prisoners & Dreamers: Turkish Literature in Translation

A study of Turkish literature and the history of its discourses, genres, and styles.  Not open to students with credit for 372. GE lit and diversity global studies course.

Students will be introduced to masterpieces of Turkish literature through the reading of texts in translation. They will come out of the course with a basic yet comprehensive knowledge of the history of Turkish discourses, genres, and styles gained through lecture and discussion.


3350 Contemporary Issues in Turkey

A study of social and political issues of Contemporary Turkey.  Not open to students with credit for 372. GE cultures and ideas and diversity global studies course.

A multi-disciplinary introduction to contemporary issues in Turkey. Our understanding of current events will be grounded in deep historical and geographic analyses, informed by both local and global dynamics. The second half of the class focuses on political, economic, and social issues from the 1980 coup d’état up to today. This will help us contextualize the ongoing civil war with the Kurds, the Syrian migration, the AK Party’s censorship of journalists and academics, the Occupy Gezi movement, the failed coup attempt and shifting relations with the Gülen (Hizmet) movement. The course includes explorations into how these dynamics are manifested and contested in the visual and performing arts, particularly within youth and social movements.


5160 Ottoman Orthography, Conventions, and Style

Acquiring literacy in Ottoman Turkish through the study of its specific lexical, syntactic and stylistic features.  Prereq: One course at the 5000 level or above, one course at the 600 level or above, or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for 610.

Turkish was written in an Arabic script and usually called "Ottoman" after the Ottoman Empire for some 1000 years before the change to a Romanized alphabet, used after the establishment of the Turkish Republic in the 1920's. Since Republican reforms included radical revision of Turkish vocabulary and syntax, Ottoman and Modern Turkish are considered to be two separate languages. Today the script continues to be used for Turkish in some areas of Iran and Afghanistan, and as an alternative to the Cyrillic script in Turkic republics of the Soviet Union. Efforts in Turkey to transliterate pre-Republican literature continue as well. Thus advanced study in literature, linguistics, art or historical research requires a knowledge of the old script and conventions of the pre-Republican literary language. The course will prepare students for such study and research. They will gain fluency primarily in reading and will also learn to write. They will become familiar with the range of calligraphic styles and functional changes which have taken place between the fourteenth and twentieth centuries in the written Ottoman and in the transliteration systems used today. Students will be expected to complete weekly assignments and to participate and attend class regularly. There will be a midterm, a final and weekly quizzes.

5241 Travels in Turkey

Turkish culture, politics and religion seen through the eyes of foreign travelers in the period from the 14th to the 20th centuries.  Prereq: 2241, 2701 or grad standing. Not open to students with credit for 641.

Travel is often a metaphor for an inner journey of personal development, or for conquest by way of knowledge of the unknown. In travel literature as a genre, positions taken by writers with regard to their material tend toward one of these poles; the subjective journey to self-discovery, or the objective fact-finding mission. This is no less the case in memoir, especially when written in a foreign language as a means to convey information about one's country to foreigners. This course will analyze the purposes of travel writing and one memoir in the case of Turkey, paying attention to the problematics and cliches of Turkey as the bridge between East and West, the site of transition between old and new - the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic, Islam and secularism, the Middle Ages and modernity - and the political model for Mid-East nation states.

5377 Turkish Theatre, Music, & Dance

Exploration of Turkish theatre, music, and dance. Prereq: Jr, Sr, or Grad standing; or permission of instructor.

Cross-cultural, multidisciplinary exploration of Turkish theatre, music, and dance in Anatolian folk traditions, classical Ottoman works, 20th Century movements, and those of the present day. Students address theoretical questions of Performance Studies with guided research, historical and ethnographic texts, and performance workshops.


5627 Classical Turkish Poetry

Reading and analysis of Turkish poetry of the 13th through 18th centuries; Turkish metrics and literary theory. Prereq: 2102 or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for 627.

This course will focus on the style, structure, interpretation and translation of classical Turkish poetry. Students will be asked to prepare weekly oral and written translations which will be compiled towards a final translation anthology project due at the end of the quarter. Other requirements include regular attendance, a short paper, a midterm and a final.

5651 Modern Turkish Poetry and Prose

Selected topics in poetry and prose of the 20th century; conducted in Turkish. Prereq: 2102 or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for 651.

This course will familiarize students whose command of the Turkish language is at an advanced level with the history and varieties of discourse of the modern period. Students who have in the lower level courses read excerpts chosen largely for their degree of difficulty will read entire works chosen for their seminal influence in genre and style. Students will increase their fluency in reading and oral comprehension, and learn to exercise an enhanced critical facility in the language.

7601 Studies in Turkish and Ottoman Literature and Criticism

Movements, authors, and critical schools of Turkish and Ottoman poetry and prose. Prereq: 6 cr hrs at the 5000 level or above, or 10 cr hrs at the 600 level or above. Repeatable to a maximum of 10 cr hrs or 5 completions.

Study of movements, authors, and critical schools of Turkish and Ottoman poetry and prose, involving extensive reading of primary and secondary materials. Topics will vary. Class will be conducted largely in Turkish. Repeatable to a maximum of 10 credit hours. Students will increase their speed in reading and their facility in speaking and writing as they acquire specialized knowledge of modern literary movements and skill in critical analysis. Requirements include regular attendance, weekly oral and written summaries of reading assignments, weekly quizzes, a short essay, a term paper, a midterm and a final.

8891 Seminar in Turkish

Intensive study of a specific topic of Turkish literary and intellectual culture; completion of final paper required. Prereq: Permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for 811. Repeatable to a maximum of 12 cr hrs.

This course will give graduate students an opportunity to explore thoroughly a major issue or phenomenon in the larger context of Turkish literary culture and to examine its ramifications and implications. The objective is to provide a well-defined area of concentrated literary/cultural study and invite the investigation of a specific scholarly problem through the application of appropriate research skills and methodological approaches. By the end of the course, students ought to have sufficient familiarity with the requirements and parameters of literary analysis; the specific character of Turkish literature and its audience; and the challenges to interpretation posed by the peculiarities of Turkish culture and tradition. Students will be expected to read and prepare all texts for discussion by their assigned dates. Each student, in consultation with the instructor, will choose and prepare a particular text which will then be assigned to the entire class and dealt with in a discussion directed by that student. In addition, students will compose one major research paper, based upon the sources used in the course (and any other appropriate sources), due during the final week of class.

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