Cultural Exchange: Crimean Tatars in Turkey
15 Crimean Tatars from Ukraine have come to Turkey. For four years they will study the country's culture, tradition, and languages
“My goal is to learn some three to four languages. English, Arabic which turned out to be difficult and, Turkish. I also really want to learn Crimean Tatar, since it’s my native language,” Kurtamet said.
“Eskishehir is a city of culture and education. There are three large universities here. Social and cultural development comes easy here. At school, special attention is paid to foreign languages, English and Arabic. After graduating, our students will definitely speak Turkish at the level of their native language,” Ahnet Aci, the school principal said.
Appaz and 14 other Crimean Tatars are studying here as part of the Turkish “Crimea Development Fund.”
“This is the first time that we invite students from Crimea in the framework of the new project of the Imam Hatip International Lyceum. Five of the students are now studying in Ankara. The other 10 started their school year here, at the Dzhevat Ulger International Anadolu Immam Hatip Lyceum,” Recep Sen, member of the Board of the Crimea Development Fund said.
In the first semester, the studies will focus on the Turkish language. Some 27 out of 40 hours will be dedicated to the language. Elif Ece Sarana has been teaching Turkish for four years. She says the new students are already getting used to the new environment.
“It was easy for them to get used to Turkey. There are similarities in our cultures. Our traditions, customs, and lifestyles are similar. Today, during lunch, I noticed that the students are trying to put their acquired knowledge to use. For example, with such everyday phrases like ‘enjoy your meal’ or ‘thank you for your work,’” Sarana said.
The group of Crimean Tatar students lives on the school campus with the others. The school grounds include a library, a cafeteria, and a dormitory. One room accommodates three people. The students mostly communicate in Turkish and English.
Ukrainian students will study in Turkey for four years.