Europe

Turkish students start learning Bosnian

Bosnia and Herzegovina's education minister attends first class for Istanbul students

17.01.2017
Turkish students start learning Bosnian

Istanbul

By Sefa Mutlu

ISTANBUL

The Bosnian language will be taught at Turkish schools this year according to an agreement between the two countries.

The first such class -- attended by a Bosnian government minister -- was held on Tuesday in Istanbul's Mehmet Akif Inan Primary School in the city’s Bayrampasa district.

Bosnia and Herzegovina Education Minister Elvira Dilberovic told a group of around 20 students: "Language is part of a country.”

"If you want to enter into the spirit of a people, you should learn their language. That is how we will bring together the spirits of the two countries," she added.

Spoken mainly in Bosnia by about 2.2 million people, Bosnian is also an official language in Montenegro and Serbia.

As part of a protocol signed between Turkey and Bosnia in 2015, the language will be an elective course starting in September 2017.

Turkish Deputy Education Minister Orhan Erdem said Turkish was already being taught in over 80 schools across Bosnia.

Thousands of Bosnian students could visit Turkey after they studied Turkish, Erdem said.

"Those students who choose to learn Bosnian as a foreign language will have the chance of visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina," he added.

Istanbul's provincial director of national education, as well as Bayrampasa’s mayor, students, and families were present at Tuesday's first Bosnian class.

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