Turkish and Ottoman Language and Culture [
The study of the Turkish language and culture is an important scholarly tradition in the Netherlands. The origins of Dutch Turcology go back to the 17th century, when Turkish was for the first time studied (next to Arabic and Persian) at Leiden University.
This tradition continues until today, and Leiden University now is the only university in the Netherlands with a specialized program of Turkish Studies. The department is one of the biggest in Europe (outside Turkey) and attracts students from all over the world, even including Turkey.
The fact that Middle Eastern languages were studied at Leiden University from the late 16th century onwards also led to the establishment of various manuscript collections in Leiden University Library. One of these important collections is the Turkish manuscript collection. This collection has recently been catalogued in its entirety. A substantial part of the Middle Eastern collection (ca. 1000 manuscripts) was gathered by the Dutch diplomat-scholar Levinus Warner (1619-1665) during his stay in Istanbul.