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Turkish courses spark interest in the Balkans

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Belgrade, Serbia

Turkish language courses offered by the Yunus Emre Turkish Institute (YEE) attract great interest in the Balkan countries.

The institute’s courses and activities promote Turkish culture in order to strengthen the historical relations between Turkey and the Balkan countries.

Mehmet Akif Yaman, director of the institute for Bosnia and Herzegovina, told Anadolu Agency that around 500 students will take Turkish courses this year in the capital Sarajevo, Mostar and Fojnica.

The center has been operating in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2009.

Yaman said the institute also organizes non-certified Turkish courses in 10 to 15 cities across the country.


Fahri Akdogan, director of the Yunus Emre Institute in Belgrade, the Serbian capital, said that almost a thousand students benefited from Turkish language courses in Belgrade.

The Belgrade center has been operating since 2015.

Akdogan said they currently have about 100 students.

“Most of the students are at A1 (beginner) level. We believe this is due to a huge demand for Turkish courses. This makes us very happy,” Akdogan said.

He indicated that they were holding meetings on protocol negotiations with the Ministry of National Education with the aim of making the Turkish language an optional course at school.


Kosovo is another Balkan country where Turkish language courses have attracted massive attention.

Mehmet Ulker, director of the Pristina center, said that the institute operates in the cities of Pristina, Prizren and Pec and has also received requests to launch Turkish language courses in other cities.

“That’s why we plan to hold additional courses in other cities,” Ulker said.


Eda Polat, director of the Yunus Emre Institute in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, expressed hope that the number of Turkish learners will continue to increase in the country.

Meanwhile, the institute in the Croatian capital Zagreb will host around 60 students in the new term. Around fifty students passed and received their certificate in 2017.

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 more than 56 cultural centers around the world, offering people abroad the opportunity to learn Turkish culture and art.

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