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Do International Students face any difficulties in Turkey?

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    Do International Students face any difficulties in Turkey?

    Turkey has become a significant magnet for students hailing from various corners of the globe, currently accommodating more than 300,000 of them across its 81 provinces. This surge in international students is attributed to Turkey's growing reputation as a global education hub, marked by the proliferation of both private and public universities, along with enticing scholarship programs. The country's evolving role in international affairs and improved bilateral relationships over the past decade have also contributed to this influx of students.

    Nevertheless, Turkey finds itself grappling with a surge in xenophobic and racist sentiments, particularly evident on social media platforms. This upswing is often connected to the increasing number of migrants and refugees in the nation. Regrettably, international students occasionally become the target of online verbal harassment. The Foundation for Political, Economic, and Social Research (SETA) recently organized a workshop on Friday, shedding light on the pressing concern of racism and xenophobia directed towards international students.


    Professor Burhanettin Duran, the General Coordinator of SETA, underscored the crucial role played by international students in Turkey's global integration during a workshop titled "Impact of Xenophobia on International Students." He noted that rhetoric targeting these students has emerged as a significant concern. He also highlighted that xenophobia and Islamophobia have shown an unsettling resurgence, necessitating the implementation of corrective measures.

    Professor Çağrı Erhan, who serves as the rector of Altınbaş University in Istanbul, highlighted how xenophobia in Western countries has driven students from various nations to opt for Turkey as their educational destination. However, he expressed concern that if xenophobia in Turkey continues to escalate, it may have the adverse effect of pushing students towards other countries for their education.

    Professor Erol Özvar, the head of the Board of Higher Education, emphasized the strategic importance of international student mobility in the realm of politics. He highlighted that the number of international students in Turkey has witnessed a tenfold increase over the past two decades, surpassing the figures of the United States and the United Kingdom. He stressed the significance of international students for host countries in terms of both economic contributions and cultural interactions, emphasizing the need for a seamless process to ensure their social integration without encountering any impediments.
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