"It is time to notice Turkey as an emerging market and regional leader. For institutions around the world, collaborating with Turkish institutions enables one to examine the mosaic of this country with an intimacy and perspective that is impossible to fully capture beyond its borders."
Turkey is decisively a significant emerging economy that has attracted international interest in all sectors for the last decade. With sustainable growth and OECD projections suggesting that growth will continue to rise, Turkey is attracting attention worldwide. Istanbul has become an international hub for universities, policy centers and corporations cognizant of the country’s geostrategic value and its good relations with both the Middle East and the West. Its membership in the G20 further underscores its emerging relevance and influence on a global scale. Already, Turkey has become the 16th largest economy in the world. With a time zone conducive to several financial markets, and a system in place to leverage this reality, Turkey has become a center for financial activity and investment.
Several features of Turkey, features constructed through the development of educated thought and reasonable mind, pave the way for the country’s success. Serving as a critical energy corridor, securing a liberal investment climate and sound infrastructure, encouraging booming domestic markets and export activity, and establishing favorable trade conditions, Turkey’s economy is strategically and fiscally strong. Further, with 65% of the population 35 and under and the country’s success in creating a qualified labor force, Turkey’s role as a regional leader and global contributor indicates strong reasons for studying, understanding and investing in this country.
Beyond the country’s relevance in the global marketplace, it serves as a model of democratic ideology for its region, a role made even more important by the current upheaval in the Middle East. Further, firm in its decision to maintain good relations with both its neighbors and the West, Turkey is a critical player in global affairs. In short, it is time to notice Turkey as an emerging market and regional leader, trends that are the product of an educated populous taking action. It is time to examine its duality as a bridge of East and West and old and new, a country where the call to prayer emanating from the mosques intermingles with the rock music blasting out of a car stereo, where people connect to their faith while retaining their freedom, where a rich heritage and national identity coexist with modernization and innovation.
For institutions around the world, collaborating with Turkish institutions enables one to examine the mosaic of this country with an intimacy and perspective that is impossible to fully capture beyond its borders. Whether one is an economist wanting to learn how to leverage the dynamism of the marketplace; whether one is a political scientist curious to understand Turkey’s role in the region and the globe; whether one is an archeologist eager to unearth the many lifetimes embedded in the soil of this country; whether one is a scientist, an engineer, or simply an adventurous mind, learning from and in Turkey is a unique asset for a multitude of academic pursuits and institutional goals.
Further, economic and practical realities lead to vigorous competition among the youth. For the 1.5 million people who take the university entrance exam each year, only 900,000 university spots are available. Universities, particularly the leading universities, thus design demanding curricula intended to foster students’ potential and secure their success at a global level.
The educational system in Turkey is a demanding one. The conviction with which the system was established is palpable in the excellence of institutions throughout Turkey, focused on creating leaders with the high levels of competence and multi-dimensional awareness necessary to preserve and refine the country’s ideological “youth” and modernist perspective. From an early age, students face demanding academic concepts and an expectation to be disciplined and dedicated to their education, an education considered critical to the continued elevation of the country as a whole. With the emergence of ubiquitous media channels and a socioeconomic reality conducive to self-exploration, the youth are dynamic, driven, fueled by curiosity and optimism for their futures.