After the MA program in Syriac Language and Literature that Mardin Artuklu University has been offering for six years now, preparations for launching an undergraduate program in Syriac Language and Literature within the Faculty of Arts were started. The next step is to launch departments of Armenian Language and Literature and Hebrew Language and Literature.
After the MA programs in Syriac, Arabic and Kurdish languages and literatures within the Department of the Institute of Living Languages in Mardin Artuklu University, Deparment of Syriac Language and Literatures will be launched in the Faculty of Arts on undergraduate level; this department will be a first in Turkey and it will lead up the education in Syriac.
Encouragement is the purpose
According to a news report in Sabra Newspaper, the purpose of these graduate and undergraduate programs is to revive Syriac, which is taught under the title of “Semitic Studies and Languages”, in the region it was born and spoken and to encourage people to carry academic research in this language.
Assistant Prof. Mehmet Sait Toprak, the head of the Department of Syriac Language and Literature, spoke to Agos and he said that, along with the courses on Syriac language, courses on the Assyrian culture will also be offered in the department that will start with 20 students: “In the undergraduate department of the Faculty of Arts, there will be courses that are peculiar to Syriac language. Moreover, there will be courses on Assyrian history and culture.”
The next step of Artuklu University administration is to launch departments of Armenian Language and Literature and Hebrew Language and Literature. Toprak stated that they still look for instructors for the Armenian language department and they will start to work on the curriculum, when they have enough instructors: “We cannot find instructors who are expert on Armenian language and have a PhD degree. We still look for instructors from Turkey and from other countries. We plan to step up our searching process by sending our application form to YÖK on October 1.”
The MA program that is going on for six years has 17 students now. Sami Kawme Dik is one of them. Being an MA student for two years, Dik is now taking inventory of the Assyrian churches in Turabdin for his thesis. Pointing out that Kurdish, Turkish and Arabic students are attending the classes, Dink says that the students with MA degree might offer courses in the newly launched undergraduate program.