If you had asked me about terminology in Turkey one year back, I would probably have answered that there is not much going on in this country. It’s true, we have the occasional (however, I must say, very interested) participants at TSS. But else there was not much information coming out of the country that reached me.
But that was before I encountered TermTurk project (www.termturk.net). This project, sponsored by the EU-Turkey Dialog programme, is an eye-opener for me.
What’s it all about? Actually, it is meant as a beginning. A group of people got together to kick-start what they perceived as long overdue – the development of an elaborate and active terminology infrastructure in Turkey.
Surprisingly, there has not been much institutionalised research on terminology. Nor is there something like an information centre where interested groups or individuals can find what they need to know about it. It is surprising, because there is such a strong patronage: Kemal Mustafa Atatürk himself wrote a brochure to introduce Turkish geometry terminology. Atatürk, as we know was very dedicated to language planning in order to promote and facilitate nation-building processes in the new republic. Terminology is even explicitly mentioned in the country’s famous Anıtkabir – his mausoleum and museum in Ankara (something that my colleagues and I still marvel about because it such a pleasant feeling to see terminology being rewarded such public recognition).
So finally, TermTurk should achieve what is still lacking: an information and research centre at Hacettepe University in Ankara, closer ties with internation organizations and activities (e.g. in standardization and reserach), a national terminology policy, and networking, networking, networking of the many different and often isolated initiatives within Turkey.
And TermTurk is doing well in achieving these goals: Turkish standards institute is now actively participating in ISO/TC 37 standardization projects, a series of well-attended trainings, conferences and workshops foster dialogue and knowledge transfer, quality assurance and service certification (LICS) take root, training material is obtained, translated and produced at high speed.
TermTurk as a project will come to an end in November 2009. But the continuation of the achievements is already planned and prepared.
There is much to be expected from Turkey in the next years. And I, for my part, am quite proud to be at the core of the action from the very beginning.