St Petersburg University hosts the first meeting of the Turkish Speaking Club
The project "Turkish Language Speaking Club" has been launched at the University. It offers the opportunity not only to practice speaking Turkish and develop language skills, but also to learn about: the culture of modern Türkiye; customs and rules of conduct in Turkish society; little-known cultural sites; geographical features; and Turkish mentality.
The meeting was moderated by: Professor Apollinariia Avrutina, Director of the Centre for Contemporary Turkish Studies and Russia-Türkiye Relations at St Petersburg University; Aliya Suleimanova, Associate Professor in the Department of Turkic Philology at St Petersburg University; and Ms Elif Adlim Talu, a representative of the Consulate General of Türkiye in St Petersburg that supports the project. The activities of the Turkish Speaking Club will be supervised by Aliya Suleimanova and Elif Adlim Talu, with all events held in Turkish only.
The first meeting of the Club was opened by Professor Apollinariia Avrutina, who welcomed the audience on behalf of the Centre for Contemporary Turkish Studies and Russia-Türkiye Relations at St Petersburg University. Professor Avrutina spoke about the activities of the Centre, its upcoming events and the exhibition "The banks of the Bosporus Strait − from the banks of the Neva River" opened on 3 November 2022 at the Vladimir Nabokov Museum. The exhibition features engravings with views of İstanbul in the 18th century.
The first meeting of the Turkish Speaking Club was held on 29 October — the Republic Day, commemorating the proclamation of the Republic of Türkiye, on 29 October 1923. The theme of the event was "National and state holidays of Russia and Türkiye". The participants also talked about various traditions and customs of the peoples of both countries. The event attracted much attention among the University students: over 120 people registered for the event. Over 70 students from almost all academic departments of St Petersburg University were in attendance. There were not only students of the Faculty of African and Asian Studies, but also biologists, economists, lawyers, journalists, and historians to name but a few. The organisers also received a large number of applications from students of other higher educational institutions in St Petersburg.
‘Such events are of exceptional significance to all of us. We have always believed that the study of the Turkish language and culture is primarily for orientalists, namely Turkologists. Yet in fact, St Petersburg University already has over 20 academic programmes with a Turkish component, and many people study the language and culture of Türkiye as a hobby,’ said Professor Apollinariia Avrutina, Director of the Centre for Contemporary Turkish Studies and Russia-Türkiye Relations at St Petersburg University.
The large number of applications and the event attendance are evidence of the interest of the academic community of St Petersburg University in Russian-Turkish academic projects. This clearly demonstrates that work in this direction offers great prospects and opportunities.
Professor Apollinariia Avrutina, Director of the Centre for Contemporary Turkish Studies and Russia-Türkiye Relations at St Petersburg University
We would like to add that invited guests from Türkiye, who are studying at St Petersburg University or working in St Petersburg, are expected to attend the Club meetings. All the gatherings will be themed. For instance, it is planned to hold a musical battle, to talk about Turkish table etiquette and traditions, and discuss national humour styles. The pre-New-Year event will feature a quiz ‘Brain Ring’, where the participants will answer questions about the culture, history, and geography of Türkiye.
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