The Center for Iranian Studies (IRAM) has been established to conduct research on Iran and Iranian affairs. It is the first center of its kind in Turkey that focuses on Iran and its region. Typically, research centers in Turkey study general or regional dynamics. In this respect, IRAM is the first research center concentrating only on Iran and related issues. Since Iran possesses a high interest in the Middle East and Turkey, the center prefers to study the cultural, historical, social, political and economical aspects of Iran and bring attention to the findings within Turkey and for international public opinion. Iran has a unique relationship with Turkey. Although being amicable neighbors, competition and friction prevail in certain realms. The studies done by the center will serve to develop knowledge and understanding that will enable co-operation by reducing the friction.
Iran is a country that needs to be well defined because it occupies an important position in an important region. Iran has undergone major change since the 1979 Revolution. Iran’s involvement with the Arab Spring impacted regional balance. As a result of the Nuclear Project and economic sanctions, Iran was forced to make a deal with the West. Hence, important developments are also taking place in terms of internal dynamics and external affairs and the world’s new dynamics of change.
Iranian studies in Turkey are quite weak, one of our center’s purposes is to develop these studies and support other institutions and corporations working on areas related to Iran. There are many Iranian research centers in many Western countries. For example, there are more than 20 centers for Iranian studies in the United States. In Turkey, there are individual academics and general research institutions studying Iran, and economists and experts who officially analyze Iranian issues. Furthermore, there are departments in five universities where Persian Language and Literature are taught, however, education and research on Iran is insufficient.
Iran is one of the eldest and more complex countries in our region. Turkey and Iran share critical histories and have close economic and cultural relations. Our common historical cultural heritage, especially from the Seljuks period, needs to be explored. Trying to take an active role in almost every aspect of the Middle East, Iran’s foreign policy, economy, political situation and socio-cultural characteristics draw attention. That inspired us with a vision to support academic studies (course, thesis, research) on Iran.