The Visit of Group of students from the Ilāhiyāt College at Kocaeli University (Turkey)

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The visit of a group of students from the Ilāhiyāt College at Kocaeli University (Turkey) to Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation

On Tuesday 30th July 2019, Al-Furqān Foundation hosted a group of mainly third-year undergraduates from the Ilāhiyāt College at Kocaeli University, Turkey. The head of the delegation was Dr Ali Cançelik, Assistant Professor of Ottoman Turkish Language and Islamic Turkish Literature at Kocaeli University.

The students were in London for the purposes of improving their English language skills. Whilst here they had undertaken a series of visits to many of the prominent tourist and educational attractions that London offers, in addition to visiting numerous centres, educational institutes and organisations concerned with the promotion of the Islamic heritage and scholarship in the UK.

They were given an introduction about the Foundation and its Library holdings as well as its Online Database by Dr Celeste Gianni, a member of the staff in charge of the Library & Exchange. They displayed considerable interest in the Library at Al-Furqān Foundation, taking a particularly keen interest in the Sezgin collection and the Ottoman Turkish literature holdings.

During conversation and questions, many of them expressed interest in some of the fields well represented by the holdings of Al-Furqān Library, including works on Ḥanafī jurisprudence, Andalusian-Ottoman relations, sociology and the history of religions, among other interests.

Dr Ali Cançelik added that owing to this visit, many students had found out about the existence of libraries in Turkey that they did not know existed, thanks to the collection of catalogues and digital images of manuscripts from Turkey held at the Library at Al-Furqān. The students were keen to visit those libraries upon their return to Turkey. They also enquired extensively about the possibilities and opportunities for pursuing further studies in the UK and to what extent Al-Furqan could assist with providing guidance and advice on topics and gaps in current knowledge.

The visit culminated in a broad discussion of how Al-Furqān Foundation could assist these students in their future research, with the students collectively requesting to remain in touch about Al-Furqān Foundation’s activities, particularly any occurring in Istanbul.