1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt; stir well. Add 2 cups hot water; stir until well combined and smooth. Let stand 10 minutes. Divide dough into 12 equal portions, shaping each into a ball. (Dough should be moist.) Working with 1 portion at a time, roll each portion into a 3-inch circle (about 1/2 inch thick).
3. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 6 arepas to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned and crisp. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat procedure with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and remaining arepas. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until arepas sound hollow when lightly tapped.
4. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add jalapeño, cumin seeds, and garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, turkey, cilantro, and black pepper; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in cheese.
5. Remove arepas from oven; let stand 2 minutes. Cut a 3-inch pocket in the side of each arepa; spoon turkey mixture into arepas.