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Keyman Modern Turkish Studies Program

Providing an interdisciplinary understanding of contemporary Turkey in connection with global developments

News & Upcoming Events

2021 Conference: Queer Conditions/Kuir Haller: Social and Political Change in an Age of Authoritarianism

June 4th, June 11th, and June 18th, 2021kuir haller thumbnail


Chicago 9:30 AM - 1:30 PM
(June 18th only 9:30 AM - 3:00 PM)

Istanbul 5:30PM - 9:30 PM
(June 18th only 5:30 PM - 11:00 PM)



This year’s annual Keyman Conference, Queer Conditions/Kuir Haller: Social and Political Change in an Age of Authoritarianism, will focus on Queer and Gender Studies.  The primary aim of the conference is to engage with the global debate taking place on intersectionality.  More specifically, we are interested in analyzing the role of gender identity and dynamics in facilitating the reproduction of power structures, and in the mobilization of historically marginalized groups seeking to expose, challenge, and ultimately dismantle those structures.   By examining emergent forms of these justice-seeking struggles, the conference this year will direct the scholarly gaze on shifting relationships and opportunities for political action in a deeply polarized Turkey. See more detail on the conference website.

Interview: Dr. Marc David Baer on his book Sultanic Saviors and Tolerant Turks interviewed by Lerna Ekmekçioğlu

Monday, April 19thdavid baer interview flyer

12 pm CST


with Marc David Baer, Professor of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science interviewed by Lerna Ekmekçioğlu, McMillan-Stewart Associate Professor of History at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

What compels Jews in the Ottoman Empire, Turkey, and abroad to promote a positive image of Ottomans and Turks while they deny the Armenian genocide and the existence of antisemitism in Turkey? Marc David Baer confronts these convictions and circumstances to reflect on what moral responsibility the descendants of the victims of one genocide have to the descendants of victims of another. By looking at the complexities of interreligious relations, Holocaust denial, genocide and ethnic cleansing, and confronting some long-standing historical stereotypes, Baer sets out to tell a new history that goes against Turkish antisemitism and admits to the Armenian genocide. FULL EVENT DETAIL

Spring Interdisciplinary Speaker Series: “Reflections on Whiteness, Blackness, and Race in the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey” 

Up Next...

The Roots of the Silence: Encounters with Blackness in Early Turkish Republic

Ezgi Çakmak, University of Pennsylvania --> Friday, May 7 @ 12 pm CST


Departing from the recently sparked interest in the discussions of race in Turkey following the anti-racism protests in the US, Ezgi Çakmak will discuss the echoes of these protests in relation to the silence over the intersecting histories of ‘race’, slavery and blackness in Turkey. 

series flyer

Dr. Baki Tezcan, UC Davis, joined us on March 12th 2021 to present his The Emasculated Guardians of Power: Black Eunuchs and the Interplay Between Gender and Race at the Ottoman Imperial Court, to open our series. View the full talk recording thumbnail







Turkish Language

Turkish Program

Turkish is one of the world's 15 most widely-spoken first languages with about 80 million people speaking Turkish as their first language. Learn more about courses and activities in the program video, and find out how to remotely participate at Turkish Table bi-weekly, one-hour meetings bringing together speakers of Turkish at all levels of competency in an informal practice setting. 

Turkish Program details

Turkish Courses

Courses have included introductory level and intermediate level Turkish language and a culture and cuisine course focusing on the complex relationships between food, culture and society.  Field trips brought students to local Turkish restaurants and events to explore contemporary Turkish culture, including music, film and literature. For questions or information contact Prof. Oya Topçuoğlu.

Turkish course schedule

Turkish Language Students

Turkish language students at Northwestern have been recipients of several awards and academic opportunities. 

Learn More

Recent Events

“Nagorno Karabakh in Perspective: Roots and Directions of Conflict” Thomas de Waal, senior fellow with Carnegie Europe (specializing in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus region) and Laurence Broers, Caucasus programme director at London-based peacebuilding organization Conciliation Resources discuss the conflict, moderated by Keyman Postdoctoral Fellow, Anoush Tamar Suni. FULL RECORDING

“The Eastern Mediterranean in Uncharted Waters: Preventing a Crisis in the Making," with 2018-19 Keyman Visiting Professor,  Dr. Ioannis N. Grigoriadis, (Bilkent University), discussing regional political developments and growing tensions between Greece and Turkey, introduction by Keyman Program Director, İpek K. Yosmaoğlu. FULL RECORDING

 "kaçak: forms of informality and commodity in modern turkey" a virtual symposium of ethnography connecting global scholars to co-present a panel on informality. Each panelist tracked a single commodity, and showed the many forms kaçak [conventionally translated into English as the equivalent of “smuggled good,”] takes in the hands of concrete social actors under historically specific material conditions. 

ONLINE TALKS ON TURKEY | Emerging Powers, Falling Stars: Brazil and Turkey in the 21st Century
How Brazil and Turkey descended into chaos, crisis and authoritarianism
in the course 
of the 2010s 
Speaker: Karabekir Akkoyunlu, Visiting Scholar, Universidade de São Paulo, IRI- Instituto de relações internacionais Discussant: Bilge Yabancı, Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellow, Università Ca’ Foscari Venice Chair: Kerem Öktem, 2019-2020 Keyman Visiting Professor, Northwestern University, Department for Political Science

Local elections in competitive authoritarian regimes: 
Turkey's 2019 municipal elections
as critical juncture
 with 2019-2020 Keyman Visiting Professor Kerem Öktem (University of Graz)

Gelin (The Bride) Co-Presented with Block Cinema/Block Museum of Art
Film by Ömer Lütfi Akad, 1973, Turkey

Our People

Our community is the core of the program. Learn more about the Keyman program's visitors, affiliates and leadership.
Meet Our People

Research Opportunities

Scholars and students interested in Turkish studies can explore research opportunities, including grant and fellowship opportunities.
Explore Opportunities


Discover courses taught by our staff and affiliates. Subjects range from sociology to history.
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