1st Istanbul International Geography Congress Proceedings Book
Central Asian studies in Turkey: a content analysis of academicsStudies (graduate theses)Kaan Kapan
Concepts of culture, religion and language in common are among those parameters of fundamental significance for economic, social and political relationships. Although Central Asia and Turkey have these things in common, bilateral relations are not as much as desired. Among the underlying reasons are, particularly, deliberate design of these countries by Russia, failure of these nations to establish their own political identities after their independence and Turkey’s own issues and its restricted economic structure. Considered as a whole, the region has a great economic potential with its vast mineral deposit reserves, especially oil and natural gas. Common use of this economic potential should be reconsidered in terms of both region in general and countries in particular. Increase of joint academic publication and site studies quantitatively and qualitatively would make it easy to establish partnerships. From this point of view, publications made in the framework of graduate studies in Turkey should be examined and this field should be supported with incentives. This study is a content analysis to determine overall tendency of master and doctoral theses published in the Central Asian geography in general and in the regional countries of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kirgizstan and Tajikistan in particular. Theses used in the study have been drawn from YÖKTEZ database as any thesis written in Turkey is required to be uploaded to National Thesis Centre, Council of Higher Education. Searches were made on basis of thesis headings and index. It is found that 981 studies (theses) were done in the period of 1984-2019 (April) in connection with Central Asia and related countries. These studies concern general characteristics of Central Asia (250) as well as Kazakhstan (300), Uzbekistan (79), Turkmenistan (113), Kirghizstan (224) and Tajikistan (15). These studies were approached from perspectives such as discipline, topic, type of study, university and treatment of data. The study shows that there are masterpieces related to a geography like Central Asia with which we have common culture and background; that the published theses are generally descriptive ones; that there are no examinations on site and that their bibliographies are generally narrow and full of repetitions due to alphabetical difficulties. It is quite evident that more useful works can be created for all disciplines if studies are made about the said region on site. And, to this end, supporting public and private organizations and entities, particularly THY (regional ticket pricing), TİKA, YEE in terms of research, development and grant and similar funds is highly important for both our country and other countries with which we share common background.