Within the scope of the Yunus Emre Institute’s annual Turkish Summer School Program, American students gathered to share their reflections and experiences following their trip to Turkey through the program.
Meeting at the Yunus Emre Institute Washington DC office, students shared their experience and enjoyment about Turkey and their 2018 Turkish Summer School Program.
The program which is held annually by YEE hosted 1,000 applicants this year, while roughly 150,000 applications were submitted worldwide.
Prince Makhubo who studies in the U.S. and also an attendee of the program told that he has always been eager to learn the Turkish language and the program gave him a chance to practice in Turkey.
“It was a really beautiful experience being given this opportunity by the Yunus Emre Institute. Because I got to embrace the Turkish culture. It made a huge impact on my life,” Prince said.
“It was absolutely breathtaking, the people, the food. I feel that it has built my character. It is a big part of my life now. I am grateful to the Yunus Emre Institute for all of this.”
Another attendee and also a World History student in the U.S., Ziheng Yin said he stayed in Turkey’s Erzurum province during the program and had an opportunity to observe a lot about Turkey’s and Erzurum’s historical structure.
“I stayed in Erzurum which was the Eastern frontier of the world war. I’m grateful that I could go there and witness different architectural and historical structures,” Ziheng Yin said.
He also added that he was curious about the July 15th defeated coup attempt in Turkey.
“Also I had the chance to research the July 15th coup attempt. I was so curious to find out how the coup attempt was destroyed by the unarmed and self-organized people. What made these people so brave and so willing to sacrifice for their country,” he noted, saying that he has heard so many touching stories about July 15th coup attempt.”
YEE Washington Director Halid Bulut stated that 20 applicants of the total of 1,000 were sent from the U.S.
Giving information about the YEE’s program, Bulut added:
“It is an outstanding opportunity for both us and the students. We have stories share and for the students to hear. Our aim is to reflect the values of our country in some way and that is the main purpose of the Yunus Emre Institute. Despite some tensions with the U.S. on a political scale, our goal is to introduce Turkey, Turkish history and the Turkish culture in the most accurate way to convey this message about the richness of Turkish Culture. We are very pleased with the feedback from these students who have met all kinds of instruments in the context of soft power. We believe these will lead to a very good return in the future. "