In the first year of the founding of TCF, the Trustees of the Turkish Cultural Foundation established the Ayasli Fund for Turkish Language Instruction at the University of Chicago with a $ 350,000 grant. The gift was instrumental to establish and support a Lectureship in Turkish Language Instruction at the University.
The Lectureship is now held by Dr.Kagan Arik, a scholar with a long teaching experience in Modern Turkish Language and Literature, and a background in Central Asian Turkic Studies. In addition to teaching elementary, intermediate and advanced Turkish, Dr.Arik also has been offering courses on Uzbek language and Turkic and Central Asian cultural studies, under the program.
In the last three academic years alone, 208 college and graduate students enrolled in the courses taught by Dr.Arik. According to Dr.Martha T.Roth, Dean of the Humanities Division at University of Chicago, “The generous funding from the Ayasli Fund for Turkish Language Instruction allows the Division of the Humanities at the University of Chicago to continue to attract and support the most ambitious and gifted scholars.”