By Elif Kucuk
Students from a total of 118 countries finished a program organized by the Yunus Emre Institute (YEE) which taught them Turkey’s culture, art and language.
Students at the Turkish language summer program were selected from 150,000 applicants from 118 countries, including Indonesia, Algeria, U.S., Armenia, Israel, Cuba, Germany, the U.K., Denmark, Palestine, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, and the Netherlands.
A total of 1,000 students participated in the one-month-long program which was held across Turkey.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Seref Ates, head of the institute, said the goal of the program was to display Anatolia's richness and cultural diversity to the world.
Ates said that around 5,000 students have come to Turkey within the scope of a total of nine programs so far.
"We aim to teach Turkish language to groups from different nationalities and professions,” he said.
“The young people got to know our country closely and discovered its richness. This is very important for the promotion of Turkey,” he added.
Ates said that the unique experience of the students including the language, culture, food, art and history will make them voluntary ambassadors of Turkey.
As part of the program, students learned Turkish in the eastern Malatya province, played traditional Turkish instruments, and learned Turkish folk dances.
In southeastern Gaziantep, the foreign students also visited a Baklava Museum and learned how to make the famous Turkish dessert.
Since its establishment in 2009, the Yunus Emre Institute has taught Turkish to more than 99,000 people in 45 countries.
Named after the influential poet Yunus Emre, the institute now has nearly 50 cultural centers around the world offering artistic, social and scientific programs.