International students choose to stay in Turkey
Students take online courses while confined to dorms amid coronavirus outbreak
The vast majority of international students have chosen to stay in Turkey continuing their education online, while only a fraction of them left for their home countries in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mehmet Ali Bolat, president of Istanbul-based Federation of International Students Association (UDEF), said students were forbidden from leaving their dormitories to stem the spread of the virus.
They were given food at the premises, along with toiletries such as soap and hand sanitizers.
There are nearly 178,000 international students in Turkey, according to the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB).
Students, who were facing problems with their accommodation due to the closure of some private dorms, were helped out, said Bolat.
The association has developed online language courses, webinars and quizzes for the students.
Bolat added that some students tested positive for the virus and are currently in quarantine.
A Moroccan student, Mohamed Fouadi, enrolled in his final year of high school, said he did not return to his home country, adding that this is just difficult phase in life which will end with time.
Suhrab Bahadirov, a Turkmen student in Hacettepe University, said he was passing time by trying new recipes at home.
"I love watching different dishes being made. I'm trying out new recipes I found on the internet," Bahadirov said.
*Writing by Dilara Hamit