The Republic of Turkey, with over 74 million citizens, is a major regional power and a growing influence on the global scene. Turkey has historically been a bridge between Europe and Asia, and continues to serve in this capacity through its physical and human presence in Europe, its religious connections to the greater Middle East, and its cultural, linguistic, and religious ties to Central Asia. Students at Rutgers can participate in courses on Turkish language and Ottoman and Turkish history through the African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures department (AMESALL), Middle Eastern Studies Program (MESP), and affiliate departments and programs. These studies have long been represented at Rutgers through MESP faculty like Stephen Reinert, who is a scholar of comparative Byzantine, Balkan, and Turkic history and culture in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and Ferhan Tunagur, who teaches the Turkish language on all levels.
Rutgers faculty in other fields and schools are also engaged in research on Turkey. The Department of Nutritional Sciences at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences is currently conducting research on diabetes and obesity in Turkey.
Faculty in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, within the School of Engineering (SOE), is currently involved in a joint project on "Risk Analysis in Maritime Traffic in the Strait of Istanbul" with the Department of Industrial Engineering at Boğaziçi University (Istanbul). This project involves modeling maritime traffic through the Bosphorus with a computer simulation, and has been supported by the Turkish Straits Vessel Traffic Services Authority, the Maritime Office, the Prime Minister's Office, the National Sciences Foundation in the United States, and its Turkish counterpart for the past four years. Civil and Environmental Engineering is also involved in collaborative research projects with Boğaziçi University (Istanbul) and Middle East Technical University (Ankara). Industrial Engineering and Industrial and Systems Engineering are collaborating with scholars from the Middle Eastern Technical University (Ankara) on advances in the micro-manufacturing of materials.
In addition to these research linkages, Rutgers University is also developing personal linkages with its sister universities in Turkey. Faculty have taught summer courses at Bilkent University in Ankara (BUA) and Boğaziçi University (Istanbul). In 2010, the Rutgers Department of Political Science hosted Ali Turan (Chair of the Marmara University Department of Political Science and International Relations) as a Visiting Professor. Rutgers students have the opportunity to go abroad to Turkey. The study abroad currently sponsors semester and full-year study abroad programs at Koç University in Istanbul and BUA.