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Independence or Development?: An Overview of Turkeyís Foreign Language Education Policies


  • Hulya Bartu

    () (YË ldË z Technical University)


Many countries have long had two sorts of interests; on the one hand, they have had to remain independent via protecting and promoting their official languages as a powerful symbol of their identities, and on the other hand, they have had to enable technological and economic development, which essentially involves international communication, usually by means of a foreign language. These two sorts of interests have often posed a dilemma for those countries and their peoples, because protecting and promoting identities have often implied closed and egocentric policies while international communication has involved more open and other-conscious policies. In todayís world, this dilemma is even more highlighted because of the so-called "globalization", which is taking place. In this article, I will present this dilemma by focussing on one country, Turkey, and its foreign language education policies. An historical account of the countryís interaction with other languages (than Turkish) will precede a presentation of the recent shape the recurring dilemma took, namely, teaching foreign languages versus teaching in a foreign language, in the daily national papers and publications in the1989 and 1997 discussions. I will then make personal suggestions of conduct for decision-makers in Turkey and other countries facing the same dilemma.

Suggested Citation

  • Hulya Bartu, 2002. "Independence or Development?: An Overview of Turkeyís Foreign Language Education Policies," Anadolu University Journal of Social Sciences, Anadolu University, vol. 2(1), pages 59-80, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:and:journl:v:2:y:2002:i:1:p:59-80

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    Turkey; foreign language education; language planning;

    JEL classification:

    • Z00 - Other Special Topics - - General - - - General


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