The main objective of the Center for Islamic Studies (ISAM) is to contribute to a truthful and scientific investigation and accurate presentation of Turkish/Islamic history, culture, and civilization. In accordance with this objective, ISAM supports many national and international scholarly projects, and in order to communicate the resulting information to larger segments of society, organizes conferences and symposiums, and publishes books, journals, and encyclopedias. ISAM continues its academic work, especially concentrating on Islamic sciences, aspiring to make significant contributions to Turkish studies in particular and to Islamic studies in general through wide-ranging research projects involving the Middle East, Central Asia, the Balkans, and North Africa.
On the one hand, by investigating Turkish-Islamic heritage through modern scientific methods, ISAM informs the public about this rich cultural and scientific inheritance, and on the other hand, by observing significant religious, social, cultural, and scientific changes and developments in the entire geography of Islam, it collects information useful to researchers, scholars, and statesmen alike. To make these activities possible, ISAM collaborates and maintains close ties with scholarly and academic organizations in Turkey and around the world.
The library, the archive, and the documentation center of ISAM provide invaluable services for researchers. In addition, ISAM aims at training researchers in Turkey and abroad. Numerous researchers have so far been provided with financial support in a variety of fields, and after completing their doctoral programs, some of them have already started working at either ISAM or at various universities in Turkey.
ISAM’s major responsibilities include:
- Conduct scholarly research, especially by concentrating on Islamic sciences, oriental studies, and social sciences, produce and publish the results in a variety of different formats, such as original books and journal articles, edited, collected and translated works, and critical editions,
- Prepare and publish the TDV Encyclopedia of Islam and similar encyclopedias,
Organize regular seminars related to important topics in ISAM’s principal areas of interest,
- Organize national and international scholarly meetings, and send representatives to such meetings that are held elsewhere,
- Prepare and implement all the necessary programs, first to train and later to support researchers in areas of interest to ISAM,
- Determine the scholarly fields where the Turkish Religious Foundation (TDV) will sponsor graduate studies, choose suitable candidates for the scholarships to be allocated in each field, and also monitor and evaluate the chosen candidates’ work,
- Establish and continue to build a research library, a documentation center, and an archive,
- Prepare public opinion pieces to provide the public with reliable information on certain religious and scientific matters when requested by the Presidency of Religious Affairs,
- Carry out research upon inquiries made by public or private organizations or by individuals on topics that are on ISAM’s agenda,
- Engage in research, education, and publication projects, in collaboration with the public sector, the private sector, the Presidency of Religious Affairs as well as national and international academic institutions.