Turkey has opened doors for graduate and post graduate scholarships for Pakistani students to get education in its universities and hoped they can become an important bridge for further promoting its relations with Pakistan at people to people level.
The 5000 scholarships are being offered under a well- thought out plan put in place for Asia- Pacific countries by Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) under which all expenses like tickets, tuition fee and boarding are paid by the Turkish government, detailing salient features of the programme president of YTB Prof. Kudret Bulbul told a group of visiting journalists here Tuesday.
Responding to a query he said at least 6500 Pakistani students have applied for Turkish scholarships. Meanwhile it will not be out of place to mention here that until now majority of Pakistani students had been heading for Western universities.
The students applying for graduate and post graduate and even Phd scholarships, he said, should not be Turkish nationals and they will have to return to their countries on completion of their study. The students can apply on line for the highly competitive scholarships as this year one hundred thousand students from at least 180 countries had applied to get education in various subjects like medical engineering and other social sciences.
When they will go back they will be a bridge and envoys for Turkey for forging relations with their respective countries in Asia and Pacific region, Prof. Kudret said.
YTB is concentrating on empowerment of diaspora affairs, integrate historical, cultural relations and to improve economic and political relations through connecting people to people and intellectual level with countries across the globe.
Prof. Kudret said that Turkey was ready to work with the universities in concerned countries and education departments for supporting their projects and these scholarships were only one part of the plan. He said he was mulling over to organize a meeting of the think tanks in Asia- Pacific, African and Middle Eastern countries to have interaction on issues of mutual concern.
Questioned on the applicants for these scholarships from Syrian nationals, he said Turkey had allocated 100 seats as a special case for them in 2014 but their number could increase. Turkey has to welcome 3 million Syrian refugees as a result of an on-going conflict in Syria who were being kept in Eastern Turkey bordering Syria.
The refugee crisis has put an immense financial burden on Turkish resources and it needed $10 billion for the upkeep of this huge number of Syrian refugees so far.
The refugees stream into Turkey in 2011 to have shelter in peaceful environs, he said.
Meanwhile World Humanitarian Summit is scheduled to be held in Istanbul from May 23-24 which would spotlight Syrian refugee crisis and its implications for the region and the world, he concluded.