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Turkish prime minister announces Chair in Contemporary Turkish Studies at LSE

Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced a new Chair in Contemporary Turkish Studies, to be based in the European Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Prime minister Erdogan held a press conference at LSE yesterday (Thursday 27 October) to announce the Chair. This preceded a lecture at 7pm by Süreyya Serdengeçti, governor of the Central Bank of Turkey on The Turkish Economy and the European Union.

The Chair will be the first of its kind in Europe. Its focus on political economy and contemporary issues is unprecedented in this context. Moreover, no other European university has endowed chairs in the social sciences on both Greece and Turkey. Their location in the LSE's European Institute is a clear signal of the growing importance of the region within Europe.

Professor Kevin Featherstone, director of the European Institute, said: 'This will be a major asset for LSE. It places contemporary Turkish studies at the core of LSE's rapidly-developing European Institute. It allows us to extend the specialist focus on Turkey beyond the traditional perspective, tapping into the expertise of the School, to recognise the increased importance of Turkey to the rest of Europe and to contribute to the public understanding of the evolving relationship between the Islamic world and Europe.'

LSE Director Howard Davies said: 'I am delighted the prime minister was able to launch this significant new Chair in person. This Chair exists thanks to the generosity of a number of lead donors, namely the Government of the Republic of Turkey, the Central Bank of Turkey, Türkiye Odalar ve Borsalar Birligi (TOBB) - Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges of Turkey and the Aydin Dogan Foundation. It is a tremendous boost to the School, and allows us to expand our research and teaching into a vital new area.'


  • Professor Kevin Featherstone, tel: 020 7955 6027
  • Judith Higgin at j.a.higgin@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7582


The number of Turkish students at LSE has more than doubled in the past decade to nearly 60, mostly postgraduate, students every year. The School has some 450 alumni in Turkey.

Prominent Turkish LSE alumni include Ms Nilgün Arisan (MSc European Studies 1991), Director of National Programme, Secretariat General of EU Affairs; Mr Altay Cengizer (MA Int'l History 1987; MPhil Gov't 1988), Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, former adviser to the President; Dr Kemal Dervis, head of the United Nations Development Programme (MSc 1969, PhD Econ 1970), former State Minister; Dr Orhan Eralp (LLM 1936; PhD Law 1939), Former Head of Foreign Affairs Ministry and Ambassador; Dr Emre Gönensay (PhD Econ 1967) , Former Foreign Minister; Ms Tayyibe Gülek (MSc Industrial Relations 1992), Former State Minister; Professor Erol Manisali (Research Econ Student 1966), Head of Economics Faculty, Istanbul University; Professor Ziya Önis (BSc Econ 1978; MSc Econ 1979), Professor of International Relations and Political Economy, Koç University.

LSE's European Institute hosts the Bilgi-LSE Fellowship in Contemporary Turkish Studies, an opportunity for young scholars to pursue research and further Turkish Studies. Since 1999, fellows have come from a variety of disciplines and from several Turkish Universities. The 2004-05 Fellow is Dr Müge Kinacioglu. In conjunction with the Middle East Technical University and the British Council, the European Institute organised a major conference of opinion formers and key analysts of Turkey's relations with the European Union at Antalya in November 1998. LSE has a number of collaborative initiatives such as faculty exchange, use of facilities and other joint projects with Turkish universities such as Yeditepe, Marmara, Koç and the Middle East Technical University.

Donors gave a total of £2.5 million to endow the Chair in perpetuity.

28 October 2005