The fundamental purposes and objectives of the Institute are:
- To support individual scholars, especially younger members of the academic profession in the United States, for advanced research on Turkish history and culture as well as contemporary political, social, and economic developments in Turkey;
- To assist American universities to develop their library resources, programs of study, scholarly conferences, and outreach activities in the field of Turkish Studies;
- To support the publication of books and journals that contribute to American scholarship on Turkey and broaden the understanding and knowledge of Turkish history, society, politics, and economics in the United States;
- To promote better understanding of Turkish politics, economy, and society through conferences and lecture series.
Founded and incorporated in the District of Columbia in 1982, the Institute of Turkish Studies (ITS) is the only non-profit, private educational foundation in the United States exclusively dedicated to the support and development of Turkish Studies in American higher education. The Institute is an independent, tax exempt organization and does not seek to influence legislation nor advocate particular policies or agendas. ITS currently benefits from the location of its offices at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service on the campus of Georgetown University, the oldest and largest school of international affairs in the country.
The Institute's location in one of America's leading universities and in the nation's capital provides it with a unique opportunity to pursue its objectives. The Institute has full access to a variety of research and information facilities and resources at Georgetown University. At the same time, the Institute benefits from being located in Washington, DC, where the Library of Congress has the largest collection of books on Turkey in the United States and where there are a number of educational institutions and international economic organizations actively dealing with Turkey.
In keeping with its charter and tax-exempt status, the Institute does not seek to influence legislation.
Board of Governors
The Board of Governors has full responsibility for the Institute's policies and programs. The Board is composed of distinguished scholars in the field of Turkish Studies and prominent individuals from the private and public sectors in the United States, including former U.S. ambassadors. The Board of Governors meets on a regular basis to review and evaluate the Institute's activities and makes all decisions for its grant program.
The Institute has a group of Associate Members selected by the Board of Governors from among scholars in the field of Turkish studies in American higher education. Associate Members of the Institute serve on its standing committees and provide guidance for the annual grant program.
An Executive Director chosen by the Board of Governors oversees the implementation of the policies and programs approved by the Board as well as the daily administration of the Institute's work.