The director of the Cervantes Institute, Luis Garcia Montero, inaugurated the new extension of the Cervantes Institute in the capital of Türkiye, Ankara, which has just started operating and will offer Spanish classes starting in March. The extension, affiliated with the Cervantes Institute in Istanbul, is located on the campus of Başkent University, a recognized private institution with more than 1,700 teachers and 17,000 annual students. This academic activity – which will include classes, workshops, and seminars – and the various cultural initiatives will serve to promote the learning of the Spanish language in Türkiye and strengthen the presence of the country’s culture in Türkiye.
Nearly four months after the collaboration agreement that the Cervantes Institute and Başkent University was signed last October, Garcia Montero and the secretary general of the Cervantes Institute, Carmen Noguero, will officially kick off the educational and cultural program around Spanish and the culture of the Spanish-speaking world.
Luis Garcia Montero and the Spanish ambassador to Türkiye Javier Hergueta, accompanied by the director of the Istanbul Institute, Fernando Martínez-Vara de Rey, also attended the inauguration ceremony.
The work agenda, coordinated by the Embassy of Spain in Türkiye and the Cervantes Institute in Istanbul, will also include a meeting with the accredited Ibero-American ambassadors in Ankara, where possible lines of collaboration in the promotion of Spanish and its culture will be addressed.
The working visit to Türkiye will conclude with an event on Thursday at the Cervantes Institute in Istanbul, where Montero and Noguero will meet with the staff. Additionally, at the same venue, they will attend the presentation of the essay “Sínora: History of Europe’s Border and the People Who Inhabit It,” by journalist Andres Mourenza, which details his experience in Greece and Türkiye. The presence of consuls from several Ibero-American countries is confirmed.
Spanish in Türkiye
The new extension in Ankara will complement the work carried out by the Cervantes Institute in Istanbul, the most populous city in Türkiye, with great social, cultural and political activity.
Since its opening in September 2001, the Cervantes Institute in Istanbul has seen the number of annual enrollments for learning Spanish double, from 1803 to more than 3,500.
It is already the second most popular foreign language for students in the country and has become the third language for adults, behind English and German, according to the article “Spanish in Turkey” prepared in 2021 by the then-director of the Istanbul center, Gonzalo Manglano.
Spanish is taught in the vast majority of private schools in the country, where it has become the second most important foreign language after English. Its presence is lower in public schools, as it is not yet included in the academic programs of the Ministry of Education.
Among the reasons for the interest in learning Spanish are the large number of Spanish speakers (almost 500 million native speakers worldwide), even in the United States, or various sociocultural factors such as soccer, Spanish music, gastronomy, or cinema and television series in the language.