Following Turkish army operations clearing areas in northern Syria from terrorists, a university in a Turkish border region is set to offer education in the liberated areas, the university rector told Anadolu Agency on Sunday, Anadolu Agency reports.
“There was a high demand from local assemblies and provincial leaders. I went [to northern Syria] myself and saw the demand, they really need it,” said Ali Gur, the rector of Gaziantep University, located in the southeastern Turkish province of the same name.
After local Syrians saw the high-quality education provided at a Turkish vocational school opened last year in Jarabulus in Aleppo, the university applied to Turkish education officials to set up faculties in Syria’s Al-Bab, Azaz and Mare districts.
According to Gur, the faculties in Syria will focus on economics, education, and engineering, and some 2,700 prospective students have already taken proficiency exams.
Turkey currently hosts some 4 million Syrian refugees — more than any country in the world — and some are expected to return home to enroll in the faculties, as many Syrians have already been returning to regions where peace and stability have been established.
Gur said Syrians who return for the education and stay in Syria as students will be eligible for scholarships. “Our aim is to send students back there,” he added, in hopes of educating a new generation.
Since 2016, Turkey has carried out two major military operations in northwestern Syria — Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch — with the aim of purging the region of terrorist groups.
Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.