Turkish students visit Pakistan on exchange program to learn about new culture and make friends
Students from various Turkish universities had a chance to immerse themselves into a new culture, try delicious foods and experience life in Pakistan during a 10-day bilateral exchange program.
During the ‘2019 Experience Sharing Program’, the Turkish students visited different educational and cultural institutes as well as centers of Turkish projects in Pakistan. The exchange program offered the youth of the two brotherly countries strengthen their relations.
Welcoming the students, Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul briefed them about the time-tested friendly ties between the two countries. “Turkey and Pakistan have a very special relationship which is unique in the world. The support extended by the Muslims of the sub-continent to the Turkish war of independence occupies a special place in the Turkish mind,” Ambassador Yurdakul said.
Soon after their arrival, the students visited the Turkish Embassy, Anadolu Agency news office and schools and colleges run by Turkiye Maarif Foundation in the capital city of Islamabad.
During their visit to Pakistan-Turkey Maarif schools and colleges in Islamabad, the foundation’s director Selahattin Batur apprised them students that his organization was operating 26 schools in Pakistan, educating 13,000 students.
The students also visited Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) office in Islamabad and were briefed by TIKA projects in Pakistan by Gokhan Umut, coordinator of TIKA in Pakistan, and other officials. Since the establishment of its office in 2010, TIKA has undertaken about 148 projects in Pakistan in various sectors including health, education, skills development, employment generation and women empowerment.
Later, the group of students along with the TIKA Pakistan officials visited the historical city of Lahore where they first spent time elderly citizens and distributed gifts among them.
The participants also took part in the ongoing renovation work by TİKA at Ghazali Girls School Lahore. They also paid a visit to the Yunus Emre Institute in Lahore, historical sites in Lahore and also attended the flag-lowering ceremony, which takes place every day at Wagah Border on Pakistan-India border. The students also had a chance to visit the denim processing factory where they prepared a denim bag.
Later, the students also attended a symposium on youth, culture and peace, organized the TIKA Islamabad and Al-Khidmat Foundation.
On their return to Islamabad, the students accompanied Ambassador Mustafa Yurdakul and Madame Yurdakul to attend re-opening ceremony of Begum Razia Khudad Orphanage, which has been renovated jointly by Turkish aid agency TIKA and Bait-ul Mal.
The students also joined the restoration work at the orphanage and planted a tree in the garden with the children. They also had a chance to participate in a friendly football match with the homeless kids.
The visiting students and TIKA volunteers also paid a visit the pediatric department of Pakistan Institute Medical Sciences (PIMS) and distributed gifts among 250 children at the hospital.
Turkish students concluded their 10-day visit with the tour of the Kashmir Education Foundation to take part in a discussion of Kashmir situation.
The students exchanged their experiences with Pakistani students in Islamabad and Lahore and returned to Turkey with life-long friends and treasured memories.