In 1964, a group of scholars representing American and Canadian universities joined together to establish the American Research Institute in Turkey. The founders’ goals were to establish a program of fellowships for advanced researchers, and to provide them with facilities and services to support their work in Turkey. From the beginning, the Institute provided fellowships for Turkish researchers.
In its early years, ARIT struggled to develop institutional membership and federal and private grant funding. The challenges are ongoing, but at present ARIT is comprised of more than 45 institutional members and has the benefit of generous federal and private support.
ARIT thus celebrates more than 55 years of maintaining research centers in Istanbul and Ankara, building library collections, and facilitating the research of thousands of visiting and local scholars. ARIT has significantly increased the number of American students and scholars who have conducted research in Turkey, including more than:
- 775 research scholars based a North American universities and institutions
- 646 U.S. students of advanced Turkish language (in Istanbul)
- 528 Turkish research scholars for projects carried out in Turkey
- 92 Turkish scholars for projects carried out at research institutions outside of Turkey
- 104 Aegean Exchange fellows: Turkish scholars who conduct research in Greece and Greek scholars who conduct research in Turkey, in collaboration with the ASCSA
ARIT scholars publish their research, teach, and share their learning in many institutions and forums worldwide. They contribute to ARIT’s own lecture programs and events, many now available on line.