Turkey’s Ibn Haldun University opens with objective of intellectual independence

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Prof. Dr. Recep Şentürk with Daily Sabah reporter Şeyma Nazlı Gürbüz

Prof. Dr. Recep Şentürk with Daily Sabah reporter Şeyma Nazlı Gürbüz

With Turkey gaining its unique voice in the educational realm, newly opened institutions continue to bring the country to a better level with every passing day. One of those institutions, the Ibn Haldun University opened its doors in Istanbul’s Başakşehir district on Saturday to gain intellectual independence.

Talking ahead of the university’s opening ceremony, Recep Şentürk, the chancellor of the newly opened university, gave an interview to Daily Sabah about the objectives of the institute.

Emphasizing that Turkey is in the process of gaining total independence in terms of its politics, economy and technology, Şentürk, pointed to the fact that the country still suffers from intellectual dependency, which is the main reason behind the establishment of the Ibn Haldun University.

“Our university’s purpose is to lead countries exploited and oppressed by the western world in the process of regaining their intellectual independence. For instance, today, Turkey tries to break its chains and gain its political, economic and technological independence. Turkey is managing this by staying all by itself without any outside support. It produces its own goods and even exports them,” Şentürk said, adding that, when it comes to ideas, however, the country “still imports all the theories from the outside world,” defined as “intellectual dependence.” Calling on Turkey to export ideas to the whole world, Şentürk highlighted that the Ibn Haldun University aims to fill such a gap.

According to Şentürk, theories that the western world produces are not capable of coming up with solutions to the problems of non-Western countries, which have totally different cultural and historical codes compared to Western countries.

That’s why, he claims, Turkey, in particular, “needs to come up with its own theories to help solve its problems.”

‘Istanbul will be a leading cultural and scientific center’Underlining that the university takes the renowned historiographer and historian Ibn Haldun as a guiding light for the school’s objectives, Şentürk drew attention to the fact that Ibn Haldun University will contain Turkey’s cultural and historical codes not only in its academic system but also in its campus structure.

Such a structure will resemble the “külliye,” as Şentürk puts it, which refers to a complex of buildings associated with Ottoman architecture centered on a mosque and managed within a single institution, especially the madrasa, which was the Ottoman name for a university.

“We are the first research-intensive university of Turkey, and university means research. That is why the most successful universities in the world are usually based on their graduate programs rather than undergraduate programs,” Şentürk said. “If a place does not produce ideas, it cannot be a university, but only a distributor of knowledge.”

With such a comprehensive array of ambitions in the Turkish education system, Şentürk ended his remarks by saying, “Our aim is to make Istanbul one of the leading cultural and scientific centers in the world and also to raise global actors and leaders. We believe that we are in an open civilization period in which there are no walls between civilizations. Thus, there is the global competitive system now, which we should raise people as the representatives of our country.”

 

Source : Daily Sabah

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