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Dernière modification : 2 octobre 2018

Transferts culturels 2017-2018

Pays germaniques


12 janvier 2018

L’élaboration transnationale du système universitaire turc


Feza Günergun (Istanbul) : Transferring knowledge for the building of modern Turkey. A survey of students sent to French universities prior to World War II

For many centuries, Turkey witnessed the transmission of scientific or technical knowledge from Eastern and Western cultures. During the early centuries (14th-17th c.) of the Ottoman rule, madrasa students eager to improve their knowledge would travel to the Middle East and Central Asia and study with renowned Islamic scholars. Travels made within areas of similar cultural background were rather intense. As for the technical knowledge (i.e. gun casting, shipbuilding) needed by the military, this was procured from technicians and labour force recruited or hired mainly from European countries where different cultures and creeds prevailed. Initially non-Muslim Ottoman subjects, supported by their families, left for Europe to study sciences (mostly medicine) from 17th century on. The Ottoman government would send “students” who were graduates of Ottoman educational institutions to European universities and military institutions after the 1830’s. Although these early trainees and those sent in the following years contributed to teach modern sciences in Ottoman institutions, their efforts would fall short due to various reasons.
The foundation of the Turkish Republic in 1923 and the following modernisation program initiated by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was deeply West-oriented. The modern educational institutions to be created or reformed, the new industrial plants to be set throughout the country needed large number of well- trained staff. Following Atatürk’s instructions, the decision of sending students to Europe was already decided in 1923 at the Izmir Economy Congress and included in the Government’s Program pronounced in the same year. Most of the students were sent to France and Germany to study arts, sciences, and engineering. The high school graduates who would pass the “The Examination for Europe” (Avrupa imtihanı) organised across Anatolian towns, were awarded with scholarship and directly sent to Europe where they would first learn the language of the country they were to study. The first group left in 1925. A law instated in 1929 would build foreign education on a solid ground and more students were sent in the 1930s. With the outbreak of WWII in 1939, all Turkish students were called back and returned to Turkey. Some went back to Germany and studied under war conditions, some preferred to leave for the United States where they were mostly trained in Engineering. A number of them conducted PhD studies, allowing for their initiation to scientific research. The latter would later be instrumental in establishing the “research culture” in Turkey.
The present paper aims to give a survey of Turkish students who studied in France between 1923-1950 in arts (painting, sculpture and music), social sciences (history, philosophy, literature, geography, psychology, sociology, art history), mathematical and natural sciences (mathematics, physics, astronomy, chemistry, geology, zoology). A smaller number of students studied also engineering (mining, telecommunication, forestry, agriculture, aeronautics). A good number of them studied at Sorbonne in Paris, but many others were scatted in provincial universities such as Lyon, Dijon, Nancy, Montpellier, Strasbourg, Grenoble, Bordeaux, Caen, and Lille. During their studies over 4 to 5 years, they also became acquainted with European way of life. When back to Turkey, they were not only instrumental in translating French textbooks into Turkish, teaching updated scientific knowledge, introducing new techniques but also carried on to cherish the culture of their student years.


Dilek Sarmis (Paris) : Restructurations du système académique et logiques disciplinaires dans la Turquie républicaine

L’histoire des savoirs de la Turquie kémaliste est tributaire de configurations épistémologiques mouvantes héritées des dernières décennies de la période ottomane. Depuis la fin du régime impérial jusqu’aux premières décennies de la République turque, de nombreuses reconfiguration – institutionnelles et épistémiques – des savoirs académiques sont opérées : leur étude permet d’évaluer la pertinence de paramètres couramment sollicités dans l’étude des savoirs et des disciplines. Les réformes majeures du monde académique (réformes de 1924 et de 1933) consacrent quant à elles de manière saillante l’investissement de la puissance politique dans le champ académique, produisant des effets particuliers dans le monde intellectuel.


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