Oriental Studies – Turkish Studies
The Turkology Seminar opened in 1932 as part of the newly established Institute of Oriental Studies of the University of Warsaw. Led by the outstanding Oriental studies scholar Prof. Ananiasz Zajączkowski (1903-1973), the Seminar offered courses in Turkic, Arabic, and Persian languages and literatures. After World War II, the Chair of Turkish Studies was established in 1945. As a result of several structural changes, in 1996 Turkology was merged with the Mongolian and Tibetan Studies Programme into the Department of Turkish Studies and Inner Asian Peoples.
Other scholars who contributed to the development of Turkish studies at the University of Warsaw include Prof. Jan Reichmann (1910-1975), Dr. Wojciech Hensel (1943-1997), Dr. Aleksander Dubiński (1924-2002), and Dr. Stanisława Ptaszkowicka-Rymkiewicz (1914-1985). Prof. Tadeusz Majda, the renowned expert on Turkic art, literature, and languages, was director of the Institute of Oriental Studies from 1981 to 1984.
Since 2008/2009, the Turkic Studies Programme has been divided into first-cycle studies (three years) and second-cycle studies (two years). While the main emphasis is placed on proficiency in the modern Turkish language, lectures on Ottoman Turkish and literature are provided as well. The programme covers the history of Turkey and many aspects of Turkish culture, including religion, literature, and art. In 2013, the Azerbaijani language and lectures on Azerbaijan were added to the programme, expanding its range into broader Turkic Studies. The Centre for Azerbaijani Studies was established in 2018 to strengthen cooperation in research and education in the field of Azerbaijani studies.
The staff of Turkology engage in the scholarly life in Poland and abroad, organizing conferences, seminars, and lectures, including the International Congress of Turkology held biennially and attended by researchers worldwide. The Turkic Studies Programme has bilateral agreements on student exchange and teaching staff mobility (including the Erasmus scheme) with several universities in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Europe, and other parts of the world.
The staff of the Turkic Studies Programme conduct research on the language, literature, and culture of Turkey and Turkic-speaking regions, particularly in the following fields:
- History of Turkish literature
- Biographies and bibliographies of Polish Turkologists
- Turkish language reform of 1928
- Modern Turkish history as presented in Turkish literature and media
- Cultural, religious, and social activities of the Turkish Alevi
- Oral tradition of the Polish minority in Adampol, Turkey
- History and tradition of the Karaim ethnic and religious minority
- Azerbaijan study on the language, country, its society, and culture