By Firat Tasdemir
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey has become a favorite destination for foreign students, thanks to its cultural, religious and economic strength, besides geographical location.
Currently more than 148,000 foreign students are studying in the country, according to the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB).
As many as 25,000 of them are studying on scholarships.
Over past 10 years, there has been 75% increase in the number of foreign students coming to Turkey as a result of growing number of outstanding higher education facilities. Most of those students preferring to study in Turkish institutions come from Asia, Africa and the Balkans.
Talking to Anadolu Agency, a postgraduate student from Albania, Fredinand Hasmuca, said he chose Turkey to pursue education for the country’s rich past and heritage. “Turkey is a world center where civilizations meet. The country is rich and it is the meeting place of cultures of Islam, Ottomans and the Mesopotamia,” he said.
Further, he added that it was much easier to get a residence permit after registering in a university in Turkey as compared to Europe.
Hasmuca, who graduated from the faculty of theology in Ankara University with a scholarship, said the education in Turkey was also economical.
He also mentioned the role of Turkish non-governmental philanthropic organizations as they help foreign students pursue education.
"For example about 30 students including me continued education with the help of Asma Kopru International Students' Association," Hasmuca said.
The voluntary group provides dormitory and other facilities to foreign students in Ankara.
Student of political science in Ankara-based Yildirim Beyazit University, Mubarek Muhammed from Djibouti, said he had come to Turkey on the advice of his friends.
"I had two options. I could have gone to France or the U.S., but I preferred Turkey for its cultural and religious features," Muhammed said.
Mufizu Rhaman, a Rohingya Muslim, originally from Rakhine state of Myanmar, studying international relations in the same institution, said he had come to Turkey, due to difficulties his community was facing in Myanmar.
He also thanked the Turkish government and people for their support to the uprooted Rohingya Muslim community.
*Writing by Dilara Hamit