By Ekrem Payan
SIRNAK, Turkey (AA) - The number of students admitted in the Sirnak University has witnessed a surge, thanks to the terror free atmosphere provided by the Turkish government.
Just few years ago, due to the fear of the terror group PKK and its attacks, only fewer students were turning to study at the university located in southeastern Sirnak province.
The PKK terrorists had dug up the city center, put up road blocks and deadly booby traps, till four years ago.
Due to those attacks, students avoided to attend classes. The number of students had declined to just 1,155.
After Turkish military and police launched an operation in the region to evict the terror group ensuring a stable and peaceful environment, the number of students has increased to 3,115 this year.
Sirnak University Secretary-General Dr. Ibrahim Baz said that the university's aim is to admit over 8,000 students in next few years.
Students from 65 different Turkish cities, who have opted to study in the university, said they are happy to concentrate on their studies in a peaceful environment, free from terror attacks.
Dogan Ozcamli, who came from Turkey's western Balikesir province, said, he was concerned before coming to the university. But found it peaceful.
“I have made many friends in Sirnak, more than in my hometown,” said Hasan Kilic, who came from Turkey's southern Gaziantep province.
A female student, Berna Celebi, also said: “I was so scared when I arrived here, but now I am saying that thankfully, I have chosen this institution.”
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the death of some 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
More than 1,200 people, including security force personnel and civilians, have lost their lives since the PKK resumed its decades-old acts of terror in July 2015.
* Writing by Fahri Aksut