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Ankara at night



About the Program

The Turkish Flagship Program provides an opportunity for undergraduate students at Indiana University Bloomington to achieve advanced language proficiency in Turkish while pursuing a degree in their chosen field. Our students study abroad, build highly marketable skills that set them apart when looking for jobs right out of college, and have fun while doing it! Interested? We’ll also help you find funding for the entire experience!


The Language Flagship is a rigorous program of study in 12 languages at 23 universities across the United States. IU is home to three programs—Chinese, Swahili and Turkish. Read more.


Adventures in Ankara

See what Turkish Flagship student, Haily Merritt, is experiencing this summer in Turkey.



What is it like to be a Turkish Flagship student? See what they have to say:

Video: Ben Video: Student








Student Spotlight: Caroline Stokes

A rising senior from Gaithersburg, Maryland, Caroline Stokes is currently pursuing a dual-major in Central Eurasian Studies and International Studies. Read more.

No plans for summer? Study Turkish at IU!




IU Language Flagship Centers:


Partnership with ROTC:

We have scholarships available for IU Army and Air Force ROTC Cadets! Contact us to find out more!

Air Force ROTC Scholarship
The Air Force recently began awarding 3-4 year scholarships to Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) cadets to help meet the current and emerging strategic language and cultural competency needs of the Department of Defense and United States Air Force. The Air Force Foreign Language Flagship Scholarship Program is designed to help students pursuing an Air Force commission complete an advanced language and cultural study program at home and abroad with one of IU’s three Language Flagship Programs in Chinese, Swahili, or Turkish. For additional benefits of IU AFROTC membership, keep reading.

Turkish Flagship Events:


Turkish Talk: Sosyal Protestolar Sırasında Kullanıcı Davranışlarının Değişimi

Guest Speaker: Onur Varol

Time: 7:30 pm

Date: Wednesday, January 21st

Location: Eigenmann Hall, Room 1138

Conversation Table

Time: Beginners: 1-2 pm Advanced: 2-3 pm

Date: Every Friday

Location: IMU Starbucks


Flagship Gala

Time: 4 -6 pm

Date: Tuesday, February 10th

Location:IMU Alumni Hall

Flagship Poetry Night

Time: 1 -3:30 pm

Date: Saturday, February 14th

Location: Union Street Center

Turkish Talk: Polluting Electronics

Guest Speaker: Özlem Sadık

Time:7:30 pm

Date: Tuesday, February 17th

Location: Eigenmann Hall, Room 1138

Movie Matinee

Time: 2 pm

Date: Saturday, February 28th

Location: Eigenmann Hall, Room 1138

Conversation Table

Time: Beginners: 1-2 pm Advanced: 2-3 pm

Date: Every Friday

Location: IMU Starbucks


Turkish Talk: Turkish Death Ceremonies and Traditions

Guest Speaker: Dr. Metin Eren

Time: 7:30 pm

Date: Wednesday, March 25th

Location: Eigenmann Hall, Room 1138

Conversation Table

Time: Beginners: 1-2 pm Advanced: 2-3 pm

Date: Every Friday

Location: IMU Starbucks


Game Day

Time:1 pm

Date: Saturday, April 4th

Location: Union Street Center C102

James Dirgin ILR Workshop

Time: 1- 5:15 pm (Friday) 10am - 4pm (Saturday)

Date: Friday-Saturday, April 10-11th

Location: Ballantine Hall 109 (Friday) - Ballantine 006 (Saturday)

Talk with Ambassador Abhyankar

Guest Speaker: Rajendra Abhyankar

Time: 5:30 pm

Date: Wednesday, April 22st

Location: Psychology 100

Conversation Table

Time: Beginners: 1-2 pm Advanced: 2-3 pm

Date: Every Friday

Location: IMU Starbucks


Turkish Breakfast

Time: 11 am

Date: Saturday, May 2nd

Location: 989 S Woodlawn Ave (Bryan Park)

Conversation Table

Time: Beginners: 1-2 pm Advanced: 2-3 pm

Date: Every Friday

Location: IMU Starbucks

Please visit the event calendar page for more information about the events.

IU Spring 2015 Events:


Turkish Movie: Winter Sleep

Time: 7:30 pm

Date: Thursday-Friday , October 5-6th

Location: IU Cinema


Turkish Music: Love, Lost and Found

Time: 12 pm

Date: Friday, February 20th

Location: Morrison Hall 006


Navruz Celebration

Time: 6 pm

Date: Thursday, March 26th

Location: Willkie Auditorium


Turkey's Quest for Influence in International Governance

Time: 2-4 pm

Date: Friday, April 10th

Location: Maurer School of Law, Room 122


Workshop on Online LCTL Teaching

Time: 8:30-5 pm

Date: Friday, May 22nd

Location: State Room East, IMU

Student's in Zeynep Elbasan's Intermediate Turkish Class Present Their Final Semester Projects


This semester, students were placed in small groups and each group chose a topic important to Turkish culture. This semester's topics included Turkish soccer culture, Turkish folklore, Turkish art, and the Turkish health system. By choosing topics of particular interest to them, these semester long projects motivate students to improve their vocabulary and cultural knowledge, while instilling self-study habits that students will take with them after they leave the classroom. Listening to classmates’ presentations allows students to learn about a wide variety subjects and absorb their peers’ enthusiasm.




Capstone Video: Turkey’s ‘National Sovereignty and Children’s Day’


Turkish Flagship Director to attend Innovative Technologies Workshop


Professor Kemal Silay, Director of the Turkish Flagship Center received an award to attend a workshop for language teachers this May 26th through June 5th in Tucson, Arizona. The workshop, titled “Innovative Technologies for Advanced Language and Cultural Learning: A Workshop for Language Teachers” is being hosted by The Center for Educational Resources in Culture, Language and Literacy (CERCLL) and the Arabic Flagship Center at the University of Arizona. More information about the workshop can be found here. Stay tuned for updates after Professor Silay returns.

Turkish Flagship Director Professor Silay featured in SGIS INsider


Turkish Flagship Director Professor Kemal Silay continues to share his research findings through a number of invited lectures on various aspects of contemporary Turkey and its Ottoman past. Just in April 2015 alone, he delivered the following public lectures: 1) “A Political and Military Predicament: The Escalating Danger of Islamism in Turkey and Discourses against Its NATO Membership” as part of the Ninth Annual Transatlantic Security and Turkish Studies Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2) “Turkish Literature and the Qur’an: On Contextualization, Decontextualization, and Intertextuality” as part of the International Qur’an and Literature Symposium in Istanbul, Turkey, and 3) “Jihadist and Islamist Antisemitism in Turkey: Between Hate and Political Gain” as part of the Antisemitism in Comparative Perspective Seminar Series at Harvard Law School. His research and views on the Islamization of Antisemitism in contemporary Turkey have been recognized by other academic institutions, as well. Recently he was invited by Portland State University’s School of Government to lecture on this very subject in its prestigious “Distinguished Lecture Series.” Professor Silay’s academic focus has always been transdisciplinary and international. Read more about Prof. Silay's research on contemporary Turkey and its Ottoman past through lectures in the U.S. and abroad.

Turkish Breakfast Study Break


On Saturday, May 2nd, Turkish Flagship students gathered for an end of the year picnic featuring Turkish brunch and a discussion about cuisine at Bryan Park. The students and staff enjoyed traditional Turkish dishes like börek and menemen with Turkish tea. Everyone was able to practice their Turkish while they discussed their upcoming summer plans and completed evaluations about their Flagship experience this past year. Several Flagship students will soon depart for Turkey, and were able to learn more about Turkish breakfast traditions and the many dishes they will taste while studying abroad. Conversation partners explained food traditions and discussed Turkey’s most popular foods with the students. While most of the breakfast was prepared by Flagship staff and conversation partners, the students were not left completely off the hook. Speaking entirely in Turkish, Sümeyye Nur taught the students how to prepare kısır, a traditional Turkish salad made of bulgur, onions, tomatoes, parsley, and cucumber. Students were also given a Turkish language recipe for how to make menemen, a popular breakfast dish consisting of eggs, peppers, and tomatoes.



A Talk by Onur Varol: Social Media Analysis of Turkish Protest


On April 28, the Turkish Flagship Program hosted a talk with Onur Varol, a Ph.D. student in the School of Informatics and Computing. Onur gave a talk on the Gezi Park Protests in Turkey and their effect on social media user behavior. He explained that as the events surrounding Gezi Park continued, memes began circulating with popular slogans from the protest. After Erdoğan’s speech depicting the protestors as çapulcular (looters or marauders), the hashtag #çapulcu increased exponentially.

Onur also discussed how the tweets and Facebook posts reflected the political landscape of Turkey, with areas in the middle of the country supporting Erdoğan and the areas along the Mediterranean and Aegean Coasts (such as Izmir) supporting the protestors. During the question and answer session, audience members discussed how current political events in Turkey and beyond are reflected by social media users.


Congratulations to Turkish Flagship Students and Staff Members


Youtube Video: The Language Flagship

The Turkish Flagship Center would like to recognize the following students and staff members for their outstanding achievements this semester!


Congratulations to Turkish Flagship students Katy Hockerman, Casey Vaughn and Haily Merritt for receiving the U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship for Turkish. They will spend eight weeks intensively studying Turkish in Bursa (Katy) and Ankara (Casey and Haily).


Congratulations as well to Sabrina Tish for receiving a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship to study Turkish at the Summer Language Workshop this summer at IU.


We'd also like to congratulate Turkish Flagship student Grace Burris for receiving the David E. Albright Memorial Scholarship from the Center for the Study of Global Change for her commitment to international issues.


Congratulations as well to staff member Keely Bakken for receiving a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship for Russian in Nizhny Novgorod and a Fulbright Research Grant to conduct research in Kazan, Russia; to staff member Melisa Frost for receiving a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship for Persian in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, and an academic year Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship for Uzbek; to staff member Connor Leach for receiving a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Bulgaria; and to staff member Cesur Dağlı for receiving the IST/AVC Memorial Award for a research fellowship.

Turkish Game Day



On Saturday, Turkish Flagship Students competed in a Turkish Flagship version of Jeopardy, stretching their knowledge of Turkish language, culture and history. The popular trivia game was known in Turkey as Riziko when it first premiered in Turkey in the 1990s.


The students were divided into 4 teams that also included Turkic speaking members of the Bloomington Intercultural Dialog Group (BIDG) and students from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs who will be traveling to Turkey this summer. Each team chose a Turkish city as their team name: Izmir, Istanbul, Gaziantep, and Batman.


Though technically answering the fewest questions correctly, Team Izmir came in first after an exciting round of Final Jeopardy! in which team Gaziantep (previously in the lead) bet all their winnings… and a bike, but lost. Team Batman came in a close second, just one point behind Team Izmir. The questions covered a range of topics relating to Turkey from history to cuisine and manners. The final jeopardy question, “Which other name has the city of Ankara gone by? (Angora or Ancyra)”, was a difficult question, and even the native Turks could not find the answer.

Before the game, the Turkish Flagship Students also had a chance to practice their Turkish with native speakers. BIDG generously brought a plentitude of wonderful Turkish food that participants enjoyed before and after the game. Thank you BIDG and SPEA participants. We hope you had as much fun as us!