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Turkish Language

Why Study Turkish?

Turkish is the longest documented and most complex of the Turkic languages, and the one with the most speakers (more than 80 million).

It is the national language of the Republic of Turkey, a key player in the complex politics of the Middle East, and one of the largest and most dynamic economies of the area, as a major trading partner of the European Union on one side and the countries of the Middle East on the other.

Turkish was also the administrative language of the predecessor of Turkey, the Ottoman Empire, which for more than four centuries was the predominant power in the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, at the peak of its power extending from Sudan to Hungary, and from Algeria to Yemen and the Caucasus.

Both the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey have produced a rich and variegated culture, from folk and elite tradition to a literature of breathtaking modernity.

As a part of the Turkic language family, Turkish is categorized as an agglutinative language, meaning that its structure is rich, highly abstract, and of fascinating, almost mathematical regularity. Written in Latin characters since 1928, its writing system matches its logical structure.

Turkish is also the most convenient stepping stone on the way to older forms of the language, such as Ottoman Turkish, the literary language of the Ottoman Empire written in Arabic letters, and other modern Turkic languages, most of which are spoken in Central Asia, such as Uzbek, Kazakh, Kirghiz, or Uyghur.