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Turkey Center Curriculum Committee Report:

Pedar Foss, DePauw University, GLCA
Nayef Samhat, Centre College, ACS
Vernon Schubel, Kenyon College, GLCA

REVISED 26 August, 2000
and 22 March, 2001

This is the latest revised proposal from the curriculum committee of the ACS Turkey Center.

The Turkey Center will begin as a Fall-term program located primarily in Ankara (partnering with METU and Bilkent), with the beginning of the core-course taking place in Istanbul.

Students will begin preparation for their stay in Turkey by participating in an on-line preparation seminar. The parameters for this on-line seminar are being worked out by the On-line Course Committee (R. Schindler, L. Rittenberg, S. Bonefas).

1. Language study:

Intensive language study is required for the first 3 weeks, taking place 3 hours per day. During the regular semester, Turkish language study will continue at the appropriate level.*

*Note: In rare cases a student may petition to be exempted from the Turkish language requirement in Ankara. Students must make a strong academic argument for such an exemption and the petition must be accepted both by the student's home institution and the program's selection committee. The program strongly encourages the study of language. In most cases preference will be given to applicants who will continue their study of Turkish for the duration of the program. For further information contact the ACS office (or other contact person).

2a. Core-course, month 1:

The core-course and language study consists of two parts: a 4-week intensive session before the partner Turkish universities (METU and Bilkent) begin their semester, and continuing study during the Turkish semester. The core-course is required of all students, and provides a general introduction to the history, politics, economics, religions, monuments and lifeways of Turkey.

The 4-wk. Intensive Session would be overseen by participating ACS-ACM-GLCA faculty, with possible guest lecturers from Turkish partner institutions. During the Turkish academic semesters, students will have the opportunity to take courses at the member Turkish institutions.

Note 1: a typical American semester of 14 weeks,

3 hours/wk. = 42 contact hours (3 credit-course)

4 hours/wk. = 56 contact hours (4 credit-course)

5 hours/wk. = 70 contact hours (5 credit-course)

The core-course and language study will work as follows:

Fall 4-wk. session:

language sessions: 3 hrs./day, 5 days/wk. less the first day = 42 hours (equivalent to [1] 3-credit course)

core-course: 1.5 hrs./day, 5 days/wk (Weeks 1, 2, 3) + ca. 3 hrs./day (9 day trip) = 49 hours

4-week intensive session, possible schedule:
Note: Dates are approximate and are subject to slight variation.

Weeks 1-3 (Istanbul)
5 days: 3 hrs. intensive language/day, 1.5 hrs./day of core course on the following topics, all overviews.

  1. W 15 August History: Ancient, Paleolithic-Byzantine
  2. R 16 August History: Ottoman, to 1922
  3. F 17 August History: The Turkish Republic
  4. Sa 18 August Field trip in Istanbul - ancient Constantinople (Sultanahmet)
  5. M 20 August Cultural Lifeways: families & households
  6. T 21 August Religions and religious movements
  7. W 22 August Environmental issues & cultural heritage
  8. R 23 August Politics and political parties in modern Turkey
  9. F 24 August The Turkish economy
  10. Sa 25 August Field trip in Istanbul - Islamic monuments
  11. M 27 August Turkey & Central Asia
  12. T 28 August Turkey & the 'Middle East'
  13. W 29 August Turkey & Europe
  15. F 31 August Minority ethnic & cultural issues in modern Turkey
  16. Sa. 1 September Field trip in Istanbul - museums?
  17. M 3 September Turkish music, literature and folk art
  18. T 4 September 1-hr. summary, Q&A, and overview of the 9-day trip
  19. Week 4, 9-day trip (Western Turkey)
    ca. 3 hours/day of on-site learning.

  20. W 5 September Early drive from Istanbul down the Thracian coast, stops at:*Gallipoli, site of WWI battle (1 hr.),*ancient Troy (2 hrs.). Stay the night at Assos. Total drive: 410 km (6.5 hrs.).
  21. R 6 September See*ancient Assos in the morning (2 hrs.), drive to*Kaz Dagi National Park near Edremit to see traditional Alevi villages (2 hrs.). Stay the night in Bergama. Total drive: 205 km (4 hrs.).
  22. F 7 September See*ancient Pergamon in the morning (3 hrs.), drive to*ancient Sardis to visit in the afternoon (2 hrs.). Stay the night in Izmir. Total drive: 250 km (4 hrs.).
  23. Sa 8 September Sleep in; See the*Izmir archaeological museum in the afternoon, Stay the night in Seljuk. Total drive: 75 km (1 1/4 hrs).
  24. Su 9 September See*ancient Priene in the morning (2 hrs.), the*oracle of Didyma in the afternoon (1 hr.). stay the night in Seljuk. Total drive: 200 km (3 hrs.).
  25. M 10 September See*ancient Ephesos. Stay the night in Seljuk. Total drive: 5 km.
  26. T 11 September Drive to see*ancient Aphrodisias in the morning (3 hrs.),*Pammukale in the afternoon (1 hr.). Stay the night in Pammukale. Total drive: 250 km (4 hrs.).
  27. W 12 September Drive to*Seyitgazi, a perfectly preserved Bektashi complex (2 hrs.) Ancient marble quarries on the way (Ushak, Afyon, etc.). Stay in Eskisehir. Total drive: 375 km (6 hrs.).
  28. R 13 September See*ancient Gordion in the morning (2 hrs.). Arrive in Ankara. Total drive: 250 km (4 hrs.).

The exact composition of the trips may vary in detail from year to year depending on the guiding faculty members. However, they should always include visits to the entire range (ancient, Ottoman, and modern) of sites and experiences in Turkey, particularly pre-Ottoman material, which students will otherwise largely miss when they are stationed in Istanbul or Ankara. We do not want to set absolute itineraries, since we should exploit the expertise of the leaders of the trips, but students and faculty need to be able to rely upon a consistent quality and proportion of material from year to year. To this end, we would suggest that two faculty attend the group: one whose expertise is ancient (pre-Ottoman) studies, and one whose expertise is in post-Ottoman material. Students can then expect to have the full range of their questions answered, and it will be easier for 2 adults to organize and direct a group of students, than one alone.

Also, while the core-course during the trips is counted for 3 hours, students will find themselves spending a bit more actual time seeing things. The 3 hours should be considered the actual time for on-site lectures, demonstrations, etc., not counting travel-time. Because in a normal course, students may be expected to do 2 hours of study outside the classroom for every hour they spend in the classroom, this should provide an equivalent experience.

2b. The core-course during the semester:

The core-course will take up 1 hr./wk. during the semester. This session, easily scheduled around the scheduled classes students are taking at the Turkish universities, could serve as a way for all members of the program, students and faculty, to keep in contact, provide reports of their experience or research, or attend special lectures by American or Turkish speakers.

The 1 hour session would comprise 14 hours during the term (+ 49 hours during the 4-wk. intensive session = 63 hours, in which case the entire core-course slightly exceeds one 4-credit course).

evaluation for the core-course:

1) A journal for the travel section of the core-course, to document and process what students have seen, including the on-site lectures, the travel, and every-day experiences and encounters they have had in Turkey.

2) An exam at the end of the month-long session (testing broad, basic knowledge about Turkey).

3) A course project, equivalent to 10-12 pages, concerning a particular topic of interest (ancient, modern, political or religious, whatever) to the student. Due at the end of the Turkish semester, allowing the student to do research, use the libraries, etc. Topics must be approved by attending faculty members. Students should give a short 30-min. report on their project to the faculty and students during the 1-hour meeting for the latter half of the Turkish semester.

4) Class and trip participation. Besides doing background reading, participating in discussions and asking questions, each student prepares one mini-report (10-15 min.) to deliver at one of the sites in Istanbul or on the trip (examples: the design of a mosque in a particular town, the course of some important battle, or artifacts from a famous ancient grave). Attending faculty compose a list of topics before the term starts, and randomly assign each student a mini-report topic. These topics should be distributed before students arrive in Turkey, so they have the chance to start their research in the US. Hopefully students get a topic outside their specific area of interest, and thereby broaden their knowledge. Students will prepare a hand-out on their topic for their fellow-students (with bibliography, images or plans, and an outline), but they do not hand in a formal written document. They are graded on the quality of their presentation and their handout.


Bilkent has a more American-style academic calendars, with just-adequate spacing between terms. METU has a calendar that does not work as well with the American academic calendar, with less than a 4-week break between fall and spring terms during which the intensive session could easily take place, although they are in the process of changing their calendar towards an American system. We will need to work carefully to see if we can schedule a program that works with both systems.

Bilkent University, Ankara
2001-2002 Academic Calendar
(calendars at:

FALL 2001
20-23 Sept.: course registration (on-line)
24 Sept.-15 Dec.: fall classes
late December final examinations for Global Partners students

METU, Ankara
Note: Calendar below is for Fall 2000. Check METU website for updates and Fall 2001 calendar.
(calendars at:

FALL 2000
13-16 Sept.: course registration
18 Sept. - 22 Dec.: fall classes
11 - 23 Jan.:

final examinations
(exams for Global Partners students will be given in Dec.)

14-18 Feb.: course registration
16 Feb. - 26 May.: spring classes
29 May -11 June: final examinations


4-wk. intensive session (required):

1 Turkish language course = 1 (3-credit-hour) course

1 core-course (extending into the semester) = 1 (4-credit-hour) course

semester (two options):

1 Turkish language course + 2 or 3 classes at Turkish universities,

OR (with a special exemption only):

4 classes at Turkish universities

We hope this is a rigorous, high-standards, exciting program that provides a consistent, coherent and comprehensive experience for all students, while incorporating enough flexibility for students of all interests to be able to participate.





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