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A gathering in Istanbul which aims to bring together thousands of international alumni from Turkish universities this November "is a step in the right direction", the head of Turkey’s Federation of International Students Associations said Monday.



A gathering in Istanbul which aims to bring together thousands of international alumni from Turkish universities this November "is a step in the right direction", the head of Turkey’s Federation of International Students Associations said Monday.

Mehmet Ali Bolat told Anadolu Agency in an interview in Istanbul that Turkey wanted to step up its activities for international students who come to Turkey for higher studies.

He added that 90,000 international students in Turkish universities are self-financing their studies, but unfortunately no institution deals with them.

His statement follows last week’s remark from Mehmet Kose, head of the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB), who said there were nearly 100,000 international alumni from Turkish universities across the world.

Kose had said during an event in Lebanon that there are 16,000 students from 115 countries currently studying in Turkish universities under the Turkish government’s fully funded scholarship program.

He added that YTB would organize a large meeting of the alumni in Istanbul on Nov. 25, in an effort to strengthen their ties with Turkey.

Bolat said that only organizing meet-ups will not help in reaching out to international alumni.

"This step should be considered as a starting point of a long marathon," he added.

Ergash Jumaev, head of the Association of International Alumni in Turkey (TUMED), welcomed the initiative.

“The Nov. 25 gathering is the beginning of a very important step for Turkey's alumni. We are excited,” he said.

“Turkey is the second country for every Turkish graduate. Its flag is our flag. Every graduate who returns to his country returns as an ambassador of Turkey,” he added.

Anadolu Agency

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