Turkish is a significant language and growing in importance. Turkey is geographically and culturally located in a very strategic area, connecting Europe, Asia, and Africa. Cultural ties to Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East mean many travel opportunities, scholarship funds, and if you know Turkish, you would be a valuable asset to any sector in which you wish to work.
Turkish belongs to a language family that includes thirty Turkic languages spoken in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Siberia. The differences among these languages are much smaller than their close similarities. Knowledge of Turkish opens up to you a region of great geopolitical significance. In the shorter term, this translates into —among other things— interesting jobs and scholarship funds for students of Turkish. All modern Turkic languages would be available to a speaker of Turkish: Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tatar, Uzbek, and Uighur.
Though this is still debated among linguists, Turkish is considered to belong to the Ural-Altaic language family. Three features are common in the Ural-Altaic family group: agglutination, a process of adding suffix to suffix, vowel harmony, and lack of grammatical gender.
UNC regularly offers four semesters of Turkish language. Turkish can be used to complete the foreign language requirement, and can also be used as one of the languages for the minor in Middle Eastern Languages.