Center For Russian Studies

Bilkent University Center for Russian Studies, associated with the Department of International Relations, is the only institution in Turkey offering a comprehensive program for Turkish and foreign academics and professionals on the past and present of Russia and related areas. It was officially founded by Professor Norman Stone in May 1998, although intensive research and instruction on Russia and the Soviet Union has been conducted within the Department of International Relations since the early 1990s. As of 2008 eight professors and instructors are affiliated with the Center for Russian Studies. Currently seventeen graduate students (most of whom are also research assistants) are enrolled in the program. The Center for Russian Studies is currently headed by Hakan Kırımlı, Associate Professor at the Department of International Relations.

This center’s mission is to conduct research and to train future scholars and other professionals sharing an interest in the history, politics and culture of Russia, by which is meant all peoples inhabiting the current territory of the Russian Federation as well as former subjects of the Soviet Union and the Russian (Tsarist) Empire. Obviously, this indicates a vital focus on Slavic and Turkic peoples, and several others in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Bilkent University is a leading academic institution in Turkey. Its outstanding library is connected through the most up-to-date methods with libraries throughout the world, and it already hosts a significant Russian (and of course Turkish) collection. All this, along with a wide range of academic departments relevant to our mission, provides us with an excellent basis for our studies.

Bilkent University Center for Russian Studies offers an M.A. program. These programs aim to equip young academics with basic and advanced training in issues concerning Russia and other related areas as a requirement for further studies. While special emphasis is given to the history and culture of the lands and peoples at issue, the students are also expected to have a sufficient understanding of contemporary developments. The program includes intensive courses on Russian language and literature. Teaching of other relevant regional languages may also be included in our program when necessary. Although our program is academically intense, students who have a B.A. degree, working in the military, government, or the private sector are also welcome.

Bilkent University Center for Russian Studies grants a limited number of annual scholarships on a competitive basis. Scholarships range from tuition waivers to research assistantships. Depending on the availability of their funds, some multinational companies and international organizations may also offer grants. Further, travel grants will be available for intensive summer language study in either Moscow or St. Petersburg, which is highly encouraged. The Center for Russian Studies will also help facilitate travel to Russia for students wishing to conduct research there.

Above all, the Bilkent University Center for Russian Studies aims to provide a setting for Turks, Russians, and citizens from ex-Soviet countries to meet through conferences, concerts, summer schools and other cultural events, in an atmosphere conducive to improving social and cultural relations.

For more information on the Center for Russian Studies click here.