Studying in Turkey For Erasmus 4 th Edition

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2 This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. Information concerning the higher education institution has been provided by the respective institutions themselves. Therefore, the institutions may bear the responsibility of the correctness of the information contained. Studying in Turkey For Erasmus 4 th Edition Publication Date: September 2010 Number of Copies: The Centre for UE Education and Youth Programmes (Turkish National Agency) LLP/Erasmus Programme Address: Mevlana Bulvar No: 181 TR Balgat/Ankara/TURKEY Phone: Fax: Design by Danajans Printed in Ankara by Impress

3 The Centre for EU Education and Youth Programmes Studying in Turkey for erasmus studying in turkey for erasmus

4 studying in turkey for erasmus Studying in Turkey for erasmus Prepared by the Centre for EU Education and Youth Programmes (Turkish National Agency); the purpose of this publication is to facilitate mobility of students and staff between the higher education institutions of Turkey and the higher education institutions of other countries participating in the Erasmus programme. Turkish National Agency The Centre for EU Education Youth Programmes (Turkish National Agency) is a public body established for the implementation of the Lifelong Learning Programme and Youth in Action Programme in Turkey. The Centre receives applications, evaluates and finances the projects and activities under these programmes. It is located in Ankara, the capital city of Turkey. The process of Turkey s membership to the European Union education and youth programmes started back in 1999 with the candidacy in Helsinki Summit. It took almost 2 years for Turkey to decide the route for joining the EU Community Programmes. In 2002 a small department was established under the State Planning Organization. In 2003 this department was turned into an independent body due to the funding structure of the programmes. Though being independent, this body was still related to the State Planning Organization and was named as The Centre for EU Education & Youth Programmes acting as the Turkish National Agency. Beginning from 2002, Turkey entered a preparatory phase for almost 18 months for the well establishment of the programmes. On 1st April 2004, after finishing this phase successfully Turkey became the 31st participating country to the Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci and Youth Programmes -as they were named back then-. For each following year Turkey s total budget increased gradually to help the beneficiaries to implement the programmes. However in the year of the second phase of the Community Programmes consisting the period Turkish National Agency had already managed to spread the words across the country and gathered more applications than the existing yearly budget. Due to this success during the planning of the third phase of the programmes ( ) Turkey managed to its yearly budget to a level of 53 million Euros per year. This size of the budget Turkey became the 7th largest country among the 31 countries participating countries. For the third phase ( ) Turkey 7 % of the total Programme Budget which is holds almost 8 billion Euros in total.

5 Turkish National Agency, Ankara Background During the preparatory period, the Agency launched a massive promotion campaign throughout Turkey in order to inform potential beneficiaries about the programmes. As soon as Turkey joined the Community programmes in 2004, Turkish HEIs quickly participated in Erasmus Programme in greater extend. Since the start of the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) in 2007, now 129 Turkish higher education institutions possess Erasmus University Charter enabling them to take part in the Erasmus programme. During the full participation period of six consecutive academic years ( ), Turkish HEIs have managed to send approximately 30,000 students abroad and received 9,000 whereas they sent 6,500 teaching staff abroad, receiving 4,300. H gher Education in Turkey Turkey with a large number of student populations offers great potential for student mobility. There were approximately 1,023,228 short-cycle or pre-bachelors; 1,152,265 first-cycle or undergraduate; 140,043 second-cycle or postgraduate; and 66,732 third-cycle or doctoral degree students enrolled at more than 150 higher education institutions (HEIs) in Turkey for the academic year 2009/10. HEIs consist of 101 state universities; 52 foundation universities; 9 foundation vocational school of higher education; 3 military academies, 1 military medical school; 1 military professional school of higher education and 1 Police Academy with around 100,000 academic staff. There were approx 20,000 foreign students registered at Turkish universities during the academic year 2009/10. Admission to the universities is through a centrally held university entrance examination administered by the Student Selection and Placement Centre (ÖSYM). The students become entitled to apply for the central entrance examination after completing primary (8 successive years) and secondary school (minimum 4 years) education. In 2010, approximately 1,700,000 students applied for the central university entrance examination and only 327,865 students were placed at universities for bachelor degrees. A considerable more number of students (around 233,113) were registered for pre-bachelor degrees. In other words the examination is very competitive. International students wishing to pursue a full time degree programme at Turkish universities are required to take a separate exam called Foreign Student Examination (YÖS) which is also administered by ÖSYM. Although HEIs are spread throughout Turkey, number of universities and students in major ci- studying in turkey for erasmus

6 studying in turkey for erasmus INTRODUCTION ties like Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir are for in excess. As of August 2007, there are around 40 higher education institutions in Istanbul, 14 in Ankara and 7 in Izmir. Majority of the foundation (private) HEIs have been established in these three major cities. Turkish Higher Education System In 1981, in accordance with the new Higher Education Law (No: 2547), the administration of higher education in Turkey was comprehensively restructured. The system thereby became centralised, with all higher education institutions tied to the Council of Higher Education (CoHE or YÖK). After this restructuring, all institutions of higher education were designed as universities. Expansion of higher education throughout the country was achieved, application to higher education was centralised, and a central university exam and placement were introduced. In addition to public universities, the first non-profit foundation university in Turkey started to provide education for students in The CoHE has 21 members 9 members of which are elected to an Executive Board to carry out day-to-day functions of the Council. The Inter-University Council is composed of two persons from each university, the rector and one member elected by the Senate of the university. The main duties are to co-ordinate and evaluate teaching, research and publication activities; to propose measures concerning academic staff; and to establish rules and regulations regarding doctoral work and granting of academic titles and degrees. (www.uak.gov.tr) Council of Higher Education (YÖK) is the constitutionally established authority in the higher education area. Universities are the principle higher education institutions in Turkey. They enjoy academic autonomy and the status of public legal entity. The universities offer two years pre-bachelors (short cycle); 4 year bachelors (first cycle); 5 year for some disciplines, such as veterinary medicine and dentistry courses (master level) and 6 years medical courses. After completing at least a 4-year bachelor degree, the students are admitted at the accredited universities for a master degree. The minimum period for a student to complete a master programme (second cycle) is two years for master with thesis and a year and half for master without thesis. In the master with thesis programmes students are requested to attend at least a oneyear-course and submit a dissertation. Possession of a master degree is traditionally necessary for admission to a doctoral degree (third cycle). However, there are some universities which accept students to a PhD degree without a master diploma. The minimum period for a PhD degree

7 is three years. Students are requested to complete a certain number of credits at the beginning of the programme before they write a thesis. In other words Turkish universities already implement Bologna two and three cycle system. Majority of the Turkish universities have already started implementing ECTS in various departments and also many universities have completed their Diploma Supplement work. Although education in most universities is commonly in Turkish, medium of instruction can be partially or totally in a foreign language (generally in English). An act of Parliament is needed to establish an HEI. Academic calendar generally starts in mid- September and ends in mid June with a 2-4 week winter term break in January/February. Some universities also run summer schools during the months of July and August. HEIs have dramatically advanced in terms of both quality and quantity in recent years. Some Turkish universities have had strong links with various universities in other countries, through which, prior to Turkey s participation in the Erasmus programme, they had already achieved a substantial number of student and teaching staff mobility. Some universities are involved in trans-national cooperation projects as well. This publication provides basic information about the HEIs, their major departments, faculties and language of instruction all of which were provided by the HEIs themselves. They alphabetically listed under State Institutions and Foundation (private) Institutions headings. The Turkish National Agency appreciates the cooperation extended and information provided by the HEIs in the preparation of this publication. The Agency plays a coordinating role and the responsibility for the correctness of the information lies with the HEIs themselves. The Turkish National Agency, in anticipation of this publication to be of assistance to students and teaching staff of universities in other programme countries, sincerely wishes all parties concerned successful outcomes as part of the Erasmus programme. Types of institutions Number Public universities 101 Non-profit foundation universities 52 Foundation - post secondary vocational schools 9 Institutes of technologies 2 Other Higher Education Institutions 6 Total 170 Table-1: The number of higher education institutions in Turkey (2010) (www.yok.gov.tr) studying in turkey for erasmus

8 Contents studying in turkey for erasmus MARMARA REGION ACIBADEM BAHÇEŞEHİR BALIKESİR BEYKENT BEYKOZ VOCATIONAL SCHOOL OF LOGISTICS...40 BİLECİK BOĞAZİÇİ ÇANAKKALE ONSEKİZ MART...43 DOĞUŞ DÜZCE FATİH GALATASARAY GEBZE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY HALİÇ IŞIK İSTANBUL AREL İSTANBUL AYDIN İSTANBUL BİLGİ İSTANBUL BİLİM İSTANBUL COMMENCE İSTANBUL KAVRAM VOCATIONAL SCHOOL...56 İSTANBUL KÜLTÜR İSTANBUL ŞEHİR İSTANBUL TECHNICAL İSTANBUL KIRKLARELİ KADİR HAS KOCAELİ KOÇ MALTEPE MARMARA MİMAR SİNAN NAMIK KEMAL OKAN ÖZYEĞİN PLATO COLLEGE OF HIGHER EDUCATION PİRİ REİS MARITIME SABANCI SAKARYA TRAKYA TURKISH AIR FORCE ACADEMY ULUDAĞ YALOVA YEDİTEPE YENİYÜZYİL YILDIZ TEKNİK AEGEAN REGION ADNAN MENDERES AFYON KOCATEPE CELAL BAYAR DOKUZ EYLÜL DUMLUPINAR EGE GEDİZ İZMİR EKONOMİ İZMİR İZMİR INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY MUĞLA PAMUKKALE UŞAK YAŞAR MEDITERRANEAN REGION AKDENİZ ÇAĞ ÇUKUROVA KAHRAMANMARAŞ SÜTÇÜ İMAM MEHMET AKİF ERSOY MERSİN

9 Studying in Turkey for erasmus MUSTAFA KEMAL OSMANİYE KORKUT ATA SÜLEYMAN DEMİREL CENTRAL ANATOLIA REGION AHİ EVRAN AKSARAY ANADOLU ANKARA ATILIM BAŞKENT BİLKENT BOZOK CUMHURİYET ÇANKAYA ÇANKIRI KARATEKİN ERCİYES ESKİŞEHİR OSMANGAZİ GAZİ GÜLHANE MILITARY MEDICAL ACADEMY HACETTEPE KARAMANOĞLU MEHMETBEY KIRIKKALE KTO KARATAY KAPADOKYA VOCATIONAL COLLEGE MELİKŞAH MEVLANA MIDDLE EAST TECHNICAL NEVŞEHİR NİĞDE SELÇUK TOBB OF ECONOMICS AND TECHNOLOGY TURKISH NATIONAL POLICE ACADEMY TURGUT ÖZAL TURKISH MILITARY ACADEMY UFUK BLACK SEA REGION ABANT İZZET BAYSAL AMASYA ARTVİN ÇORUH BARTIN CANİK BAŞARI GAZİOSMANPAŞA HİTİT KARABÜK KARADENİZ TECHNICAL KASTAMONU ONDOKUZ MAYIS ORDU RİZE SİNOP ZONGULDAK KARAELMAS EASTERN ANATOLIA REGION ARDAHAN ATATÜRK AĞRI İBRAHİM ÇEÇEN BİNGÖL BİTLİS EREN ERZİNCAN FIRAT İNÖNÜ KAFKAS MUŞ ALPARSLAN TUNCELİ YÜZÜNCÜ YIL SOUTHEASTERN ANATOLIA REGION ADIYAMAN BATMAN DİCLE GAZİANTEP HARRAN KİLİS 7 ARALIK SİİRT ŞIRNAK ZİRVE studying in turkey for erasmus

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11 Living in Turkey

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13 Turkey At a Glance

14 Mehmet II the Conqueror, by Bellign, 14th century Turkey (Türkiye) in General (Some Facts and Figures) Area: 814,578 square kilometres (3% in Europe called Thrace; 97% in Asia called Anatolia). The length of the land borders of the country is 2,875 kilometres; its coastline is 8,333 kilometres long, while its landmass is approximately 550 kilometres wide and about 1,500 kilometres long. It has a number of high mountains; the highest is Mount Ararat (5,137 meters), famous as a possible site for Noah s Ark. The country is characterized by seven geographical regions each of which has a different landscape. This results in significant variations in climatic conditions from region to region. The population growth rate is about 1.5% and 65% of the population live in urban areas. Population of Turkey is according to 2009 statistics. There are 81 provinces in Turkey. The three most rapidly growing cities are Istanbul (11,million), Ankara (4,5 million) and Izmir (3.5 million). Turkey is a country with a young population. The 0-14 age group is 30%, the age group 64.4% and the 65+ age group 5.6% of the overall population. Turkey is a member of many international organisations such as NATO, World Trade Organisation, Organisation of Islamic Conference, Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organisation, and the Economic Cooperation Organisation. It is also a candidate for full EU membership 1. 1 Turkey, Turkish News Agency, Ankara, 2005.

15 History H I s t o r y Historical sites, AEGEAN REGION Turks started to settle in Anatolia during the period of the Great Seljuk Empire in the early 11th century. Anatolia has been called the "cradle of civilizations". With its four seasons, its flora comprising of thousands of species, its fertile lands, Turkey has been home to some of the earliest civilizations of the world. These include the Hatis, Hittites, Phrygians, Urartians, Lydians, Ionians, Persians, Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks and Ottomans. Traces of these civilizations can still be seen in many remarkable ancient sites located in all regions of the country. Indeed, Turkey can be even regarded as an open museum. Two of the Seven Wonders of the World are in Turkey: The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus and The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. Many of the country s famous historical sites can be found in the webpages of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Gipsy Girl, Zeugma/GAZ ANTEP After the decline of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, Atatürk founded the Republic of Turkey in After a series of reforms initiated with the foundation of Republic, the roots for Modern Turkey were established. 2 Hitit Heykeli, CORUM

16 Climate Because Turkey is located in different climate zones, it is possible to enjoy the four seasons and different climates simultaneously in the country. People can go to the sea and see snowy mountains at the same time too. Turkey is also affected by the Mediterranean climate in which summers can be hot and arid. However, thanks to its location in the Eastern Mediterranean basin and its surface roughness, the country has dry subtropical areas as well as regions with abundant precipitation. Ölüdeniz, Fethiye/MU LA Culture Turkey's cultural fabric is a mosaic of diverse cultures rooted deeply in history. By virtue of its geographical position, Turkey has been at the axis of the cultures of the East, the West, the Middle East, the Mediterranean world and Islam. Anatolia, in fact, is one of the world's oldest human habitats. Anatolia's cultural variety is such that we can see great cultural differences even in areas geographically quite close to each other. This galaxy of cultures can be observed all around the country in its music, food, architecture and traditions. Turkish traditional blue tiles, for instance, are quite famous. One of the most famous mosques in Turkey is the Blue Mosque of Istanbul. Students may wish to visit Miniatürk in Istanbul where they will be able to see many monuments and historical buildings in miniature size. 99 percent of the people of Turkey are Moslem. Orthodox Christians, Jews, Catholics, Protestants and other Christian sects make up the rest. Everyone, however, has freedom of religious belief and is free to practice his or her faith. Miniatürk, STANBUL

17 Political Structure P O L I T I C A L S T R U C T U R E Turkey is a parliamentary democratic state with a single chamber. The Grand National Assembly is comprised of 550 members who are elected directly for five year terms. The Members of the Assembly elect the President of the Republic for a seven year term. Turkey is a secular state and is the only country among Islamic countries to practice secularism. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of Turkey

18 Kanyon Shopping Center, STANBUL Traditional Bazaar in Bursa S tudents may wish to go shopping in old traditional markets as well as modern shopping malls. However, they can also find many items in the local markets. Supermarkets and many shops are open until at least 10:00 pm. There are even some 24 hours open shops and restaurants in many cities. Hence, people may no difficultiy in finding their needs. Since Turkey is on bridge between east and west, it has and influence from each culture. Hence, every city has a spice bazaar. In big cities, there is a mobile vegetable and fruit market once in a week where people can buy fresh and cheaper groceries. It is advisable to learn where and when these markets are taking place. Shopping

19 Residence Permit R E S I D E N C E P E R M I T Students should obtain Acceptance Letter from the host institution before they arrive in Turkey. As can be seen from the table above, students from many countries can obtain their visas at the airport by paying the stated visa fees. Within 15 days of their arrival, they should go to the Foreign Relations Department at the Local Police Headquarters and submit the following documents in order to obtain the residence permit: 1. Student certification (issued by the host university, stating the start and the end of the study period in Turkey) 2. Photocopies of relevant pages of the student passport (showing the validity period of the passport and entrance date stamp at the airport) 3. 4 coloured pictures TRY (equals to approx 38 euro for the residence permit booklet) 5. You need to write a standard letter for residence permit which you can find in model form in the following webpage: along with an application form: (this form should be filled and printed in two copies and in double sided). Note that the requirements listed in the previous documents are not necessary for Erasmus students since the Turkish National Police inform all police departments about the procedures. The residence permit is issued within a day to a week depending on the volume of work at the relevant police department. No additional cost is required from international students.

20 Metu, ANKARA T he Academic year generally starts in mid-september and ends in mid June, with a 2-4 weeks winter term break in January /February. Some universities also run summer schools during the months of July and August. Clock Tower, ZM R Turkish universities are in line with the Bologna Process in many aspects: for example, Turkish universities have been using a three-cycle system since early 1970s. A typical bachelor degree can be earned in 4 years. Graduate programs consist of masters and doctoral programs and are coordinated by institutes for graduate studies. Master's programs are specified as "with thesis" and "without thesis". Access to doctoral programs requires a master's degree. However, in certain disciplines, such as medical science, veterinary medicine, and dentistry, a degree can be achieved in either 5 or 6 years minimum. Turkey has adopted the escalation of higher education in terms of both quality and quantity as a major developmental goal. Some Turkish universities have very strong international links. They have been carrying out various international projects and student exchanges for years. After the establishment of the Turkish National Agency in 2003, Turkish Universities have started participating in the EU Erasmus programme. Many Turkish Universities have been actively involved in ECTS work. Since 1 April 2004, Turkey has fully participated in Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci and Youth community programmes. In the last two years, great interest has been evident about activities in Turkish Universities in terms of student and teaching staff mobility [check]. That trend is expected to continue and even increase dramatically in the coming years. The Erasmus mobility figures can be seen in the table below: Academic Outgoing Incoming Outgoing Incoming Year Students Students Teaching Staff Teaching Staff 2004/ / / / /

21 Student Life in Turkey S T U D E N T L I F E I N T U R K E Y Turkey offers a healthy and welcoming environment for students. Many universities have appointed advisers and offer services to help international students adjust to life in Turkey. Some universities have introduced orientation programs to acquaint international students to their academic programmes. One French Erasmus student who studied in Turkey in the academic year of 2005/06 has this to report about her experience of studying in Turkey: Erasmus this great traveller gave his name to the wellknown exchange program which allows students from Europe to discover different countries, cultures, civilisations and people all around Europe. I have taken this opportunity! And I am now in Turkey, spending one of my 5 years education school here. By this way, I visited the beautiful Istanbul, cooked manti with some women in a village, learnt common Turkey and French history in Canakkale, and discovered the existence and meaning of the Turning Men (Whirling Dervishes) in Konya (Mevlana) and many other trips are still waiting for me. Of course, one of the main important aspects of an Erasmus exchange is to meet with new people. This point cannot just be described. Everyone will create his own experience, live it. But I can say that for me, Turkish people are responsible for a big part of the well going of my adventure. Right now, this adventure is going really well and I will keep souvenirs forever, for sure! Different reasons made me decided to spend one year abroad: one of them is that I wanted to change! Air, environment, lessons so why would not change the country? Let s do it! Also I had heard really good reports about other students experiences, as it opened their mind, they learnt a lot about themselves and others, country, culture So let s try it too. When I left France to come to Turkey, I really did not know what I would discover here. I had no idea about the country, the population, the university and so on. Well, I can say that all my wishes were fulfilled! Everything was so new, different just amazing! It is a real chance to live with Turkish people, and not just be there as a tourist. Indeed Turkish culture is so rich. I am speaking about food, history, geographical and political issues, religion, disparities in life styles (it is very interesting to compare some families who are living with old Ottoman culture and new students generation who are more modern but also very different than in Europe). I love travelling in Turkey. Everywhere, I learn.

22 Computing Many universities provider students with access to high speed internet connections and have up-to-date computer labs while computers are also available in each department. When students register for the semester, they need to sign up for a computer account as well. They then get a password and an account. Students can register for their courses online at many universities. Orientation Programmes Almost all universities organise orientation programmes for incoming students to show them around the campus and the city. They can also take cultural courses as well as benefit from tips offered on how to survive and enjoy themselves in the city. During this programme, local students help incoming ones until they settle down at the university.

23 Library L I B R A R Y Each university has its own library storing relevant books and periodicals. However, many universities subscribe to databanks which provides access to tens of thousands of periodicals. The universities benefit from an inter library-loan system which facilitates lending or borrowing books from other libraries throughout Turkey. Students may wish to search online library catalogues of the university and can reserve books via the internet. In big cities, students may wish to visit other universities and their libraries for study purposes. Accommodation Campus universities generally offer all sorts of accommodation facilities. State-owned dormitories are also available in some cases. Many universities have set aside seats for international students in their dormitories. Prices of such forms of accommodations are often cheaper than in many European countries. Students who wish to live off-campus can co-share flats with their friends. Rents vary according to the city and the district. The Office for International Students helps incoming students to find reasonable and suitable accommodation.

24 Language T he official language of Turkey is Turkish (Türkçe) which is not an Indo-European language. It belongs to the Altay branch of the Ural-Altay linguistic family. The Turkic languages constitute a language family of some thirty languages; this is the 7th most widely spoken language among the thousands of languages spoken in the world and is spoken across a vast area from Eastern Europe to Siberia and Western China with an estimated 200 million speakers, including native and tens of millions of second- language speakers [check; are you talking about the language or the language system?]. More than 90 percent of all contemporary speakers of Altaic languages speak a Turkish language. The people of this region were nomads and Turks, too, for centuries led nomadic lives and took their language along wherever they moved. The Turkish language family now stretches from the Mongolian lands and China in the East to present-day Turkey. The Turkish language at present is widely spoken in the following countries and regions: Turkey, Northern Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Turkistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Western China. In addition, Turkish is spoken by several million emigrants in the European Union. It is also spoken in Balkan countries such as the Republic of Macedonia, some parts of Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Nagorno Karabagh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Kosovo etc. A major change in the language took place in 1928 when a Latin- based alphabet was adopted instead of the Arabic script. Now the Turkish alphabet has 29 letters, 8 of which are vowels and 21 are consonants. The Turkish language is written phonetically, that is to say, every letter is pronounced while reading.

25 A number of Turkish universities have been selected by the Turkish National Agency to organise Erasmus Intensive Language Course where students can learn Turkish to help them in their everyday communication. Interest in learning Turkish is growing rapidly among incoming Erasmus students. For example, during summer 2006, 165 students enrolled in these courses, whereas in the previous year the figure was 107. However, many universities offer courses in foreign languages, chiefly English, partially or completely. Therefore, international students may not find it difficult to get by at the universities. Nevertheless, knowledge of Turkish could prove to be useful to talk to local people and when you go shopping. One must remember though that cities like Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir and other tourist spots will pose no problems to people who do not know Turkish. L A N G U A G E

26 ÇiğKöfte Börek T urkey is internationally famous for its rich "cuisine". The food served, however, will vary from geographical region to region. One can only conclude that the evolution of the rich and varied cuisine was not an accident. As was the case with other grand cuisines of the world, the delectable and different dishes that can be tasted are the result of the combination of three key elements: a nurturing environment; regional differentiation; and the legacy of an imperial tradition. Hundreds of cooks specializing in different types of dishes, all eager to please the royal palate, no doubt played their part in perfecting the Cuisine that we can savour today. The Palace Kitchen, supported by a complex social structure, a vibrant urban life, specialization of labour, trade, and total control of the Spice Road led to the evolution of a splendid culinary culture in the capital of a mighty Empire. Food Moreover, since the Turkish State of Anatolia is a millennium old its cuisine, too, is rich historically. Tradition is the key; as Ibn'i Haldun wrote, "the religion of the King, in time, becomes that of the People", an observation which also holds for the King's food. Thus, the reign of the Ottoman Dynasty during 600 years, and a seamless cultural transition into present-day modern Turkey has led to the evolution of a grand Cuisine through differentiation, refinement and perfection of dishes, as well as their sequence and combination of meals. It is only rarely that all the three conditions listed above meet as they do in French, Chinese and Turkish Cuisine. Turkish Cuisine also benefits from being at the cross-roads of Far-East and Mediterranean food habits. All these unique characteristics and history have bestowed upon Turkish Cuisine a rich and varied number of dishes, which can be prepared and combined with other dishes in meals of almost infinite variety, but always in a non-arbitrary way. This has led to development of regional cooking styles. Needless to say, Turkish Cuisine is an integral aspect of the nation s culture and part of the rituals of everyday life. It reflects spirituality, in forms that are specific to it, through symbolism and practice.

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