By Selma Kasap
A new research center focused on the historic city of Jerusalem will be set up at Istanbul’s Marmara University.
Turkey’s Supreme Board of Education (YOK) said the center will carry out academic and scholarly studies on Jerusalem, one of the most important issues in the Islamic world and the Middle East, and the source of recent headlines.
“We will provide academic and scholarly support to the Palestinian cause and raise the awareness of the international public through our Jerusalem Research Center,” Yekta Sarac, the head of the board, told a meeting in the capital Ankara about the planned center late Thursday.
The center comes amid a new international focus on the city, sacred to the three Abrahamic faiths. The controversy over access to the city’s al-Aqsa Mosque as well as the internationally condemned U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital have spurred new interest in the city.
Scholarship on sacred city
The center is set to support academic and cultural studies into the history, social structure, and political situation of Jerusalem, according to the board. The center will also cooperate with academic institutions working on the Jerusalem issue in line with the center’s goals.
It will also do scholarship on the facts of the Jerusalem issue.
The center also plans to host seminars, workshops, panels, symposiums, conferences and similar events on both the national and international level.
Projects will be developed and carried out in cooperation with national and international institutions and organizations in the field of Jerusalem studies.
Reports, analyses, newsletters, magazines, and books will also be published on the Jerusalem issue.
Moreover, the center will provide support graduate and doctoral studies on the city of Jerusalem. It plans to provide publications on Jerusalem studies and provide a documentation center, specialized library and database for undergraduate and post-graduate students and all concerned, said the board.