We are Closing on September 30, 2020

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May 31, 2019

Members of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Academic Community,

The Institute of Turkish Studies (ITS) Board of Governors has decided that ITS should close and cease operations as of September 30, 2020.

Since its establishment in 1983, ITS has provided unparalleled grants that pushed Turkey and Turkish studies out of a handful of US institutions into colleges and universities in 45 US states plus the District of Columbia. Over 130 dissertation writing grants translated into 70-plus professorial positions at American institutions of higher education, and language and research awards helped prepare at least 235 others who took up teaching and research positions in the United States and elsewhere. Awards to several dozen developing scholars over the last five years will pay further dividends in the future. Nearly 80 US institutions established library/research collections relating to Turkey, or added significantly to existing resources, thanks to ITS funding, and 19 American universities received seed money to support the establishment of new, Turkey-related teaching positions.

As many are aware, the Turkish government-initiated trust that provided income to support these ITS grant-giving and other activities was terminated in late 2015. Since that time, the Board has worked to secure new sources of funding from private donors. It is deeply grateful for the generous financial support of Georgetown University, Koç Holding, FIBA Holding, Mr. and Mrs. Muhtar Kent, and many other individual donors toward enabling ITS to maintain this service to American academe. Despite this backing, our efforts to develop a sustainable financial future for ITS have not been as successful as we would like.

ITS has sufficient funds still on hand to support the grant commitments recently made for AY 2019-2020. It also anticipates being able to advertise for a final round of substantial awards for AY 2020-2021 (subject to availability of funds). ITS will retain a base at Georgetown University's Center for Eurasian, Russian, and Eastern European Studies. Executive Director Dr. Sinan Ciddi will continue, on a part-time basis, to administer the Institute's grant-giving activities until they cease in September 2020. He can be reached at sinanciddi@turkishstudies.org.

The Board wishes again to express its gratitude to all its donors, including the Turkish government, whose foresight and generosity contributed greatly to the flowering of wide-ranging American academic excellence on the history, politics, foreign relations, economics, sociology, arts, and languages of Turkey. For a full account of all scholars, institutions and academic projects ITS has supported, please refer to our website, the contents of which will be appropriately archived and announced to the academic community.

The Board of Governors
Institute of Turkish Studies
Washington, DC


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