Following Turkish military operations clearing areas in northern Syria from terrorists, a university in a Turkish border region has set to offer education in the liberated areas.
Gaziantep University, located in the southeastern Turkish province of the same name, established faculties in Syria’s al-Bab, Azaz, Afrin and Jarabulus provinces to enable Syrian students to continue their higher education.
Maintaining a higher education is one of the most important signals of normalization of daily life after a war, Halil Ibrahim Ilgi, a researcher at the Faculty of Education in Afrin, told Anadolu Agency.
“Students who were accepted to the faculty, passed the Examination for Foreign Students in Turkey. A total of 3,000 students applied to this examination,” said Ilgi.
Ilgi stressed that 120 students receive education at the faculty in Afrin.
“We have three programs including school teaching, psychological counseling and guidance and the Turkish language. We have 40 students in each program,” he added.
Raman Cafer, a former student of Aleppo University, thanked Gaziantep University for their support to the students in Afrin.
“Scores of students in Afrin were looking forward to this, not to lose on their future,” Cafer added.
Gada Shami, another student at Afrin University, said he could not complete his education at Damascus University since he was forced to migrate.
“Opening of Gaziantep University is a great opportunity. I am currently studying classroom teaching,” Shami said, adding that he could not find another university in Syria which provides students with an internationally recognized degree.
Operation Euphrates Shield and its successors, Operation Olive Branch in 2018 and Operation Peace Spring — launched on Oct. 9 — all aim to eliminate terrorist elements near Turkey’s borders, including Daesh/ISIS and the YPG/PKK.
Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD/YPG.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU — has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.