Sunday, October 28, 2012
By Abdulkadir Khalif
Somalia: Somali students numbering 250 offered scholarships at higher learning institutions in Turkey flew from Mogadishu last week. Their destination was Istanbul, the most cosmopolitan city in the Euro-Asian country.
Most of the students passed examinations held online. Thus, those who converged at Mogadishu’s Aden Abdulle International Airport came from all over Somalia.
In the past year, Turkish and Somali educational officials used to test potential candidates, but this time online exams made selection easier.
To see the departing students off, the Turkish Ambassador to Somalia, Dr Koni Torun, said the students will be attending different universities in Turkey.
“150 students will be attending masters’ and doctoral studies,” said Dr Torun. He added that the remaining students will be studying graduate courses.
Ever since the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the Somali capital Mogadishu in August 2011, Turkey has been offering humanitarian and development assistance to Somalia.
Last year, hundreds of Somali students benefited from scholarships to Turkey. In addition, diverse projects run and funded by Turkish institutions including schools, colleges, hospitals are progressing in Mogadishu.
Others are planned elsewhere in Somalia, according to Turkish diplomats in the Horn of Africa country.
All the 250 scholarship holders jetted off on a Turkish Airline plane. “This is, nevertheless, another gesture to help Somalia recover from years of neglect,” said Ambassador Torun.