In 2016, Columbia University established the Sakıp Sabancı Chair and Center for Turkish Studies, the first such initiative of its kind in the United States. Established with a $10 million gift, the goal of the professorship and the center is to increase knowledge and awareness of Turkey through research, teaching and intellectual exchange.
The gift will also support research and academic collaboration at Sabancı University in Istanbul, which was founded by Sakıp Sabancı in 1995. At Columbia it will provide funding for visiting scholars and graduate fellowships. Researchers at both universities will investigate pressing contemporary issues concerning Turkey to produce ideas and knowledge that could have an impact both within and outside academia.
“For historic and geographic reasons, Turkey plays a pivotal role in many global issues,” said David Madigan, executive vice president for Arts and Sciences and dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. “I am therefore very grateful that we can build on Columbia’s long-standing links with Turkey to propel Columbia to a leading position in Turkish Studies.”