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 A private Turkish university opens in Iraqi Kurdistan region

 Source : Turkish.Todays.Zaman
  Kurd Net does not take credit for and is not responsible for the content of news information on this page

 


A private Turkish university opens in Iraqi Kurdistan region  22.10.2008



October 22, 2008

Erbil-Hewler, Kurdistan region "Iraq",—  As relations normalize between Turkey and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in "northern Iraq", Turkey has followed in the footsteps of the US, France and Lebanon in establishing a university there.

Diplomatic relations between Ankara and Erbil, the capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region,
www.ekurd.net were almost frozen after the foundation of the regional Kurdish government there and Massoud Barzani's election as its president. Recently the relations have seen a period of thaw, and some of the walls between the two parties have been brought down, Barzani explained Tuesday after his meeting with Turkey's special envoy to Iraq, Murat Özçelik. Ankara emphasizes the importance of "silent diplomacy" with the Kurdish government in this regard.                         

Turkish Ishik University in Erbil, the Iraqi Kurdistan's capital.
Along with the breaking down of walls has come the building of bridges between Turkey and its Iraqi Kurdish neighbours. Ishik University, newly opened by the Turkish Fezalar Educational Co. in Erbil, is one of those bridges. Fezalar has been active in education in the region for 14 years and has 10 schools in Erbil, Sulaimaniyah and Kirkuk. The university is now accepting student registration, and classes will begin in mid-November.

The idea to open a university came from the families of students who had attended other Fezalar schools, said Talip Büyük, the corporation’s general manager, at a press conference on Tuesday in Erbil. “We have had 788 students graduate from our schools,
www.ekurd.net and for a few years the families have been strongly encouraging us to open a university,” he added. Eventually Fezalar decided to raise the topic with Kurdistan region’s education officials, who backed the proposal. During the press conference Büyük spoke of the success of the Fezalar schools and noted that Fezalar students won medals at several international intramural scientific competitions.

Local Kurdish media showed great interest during the press conference and in particular asked whether the university’s opening would contribute to improving relations with Turkey. In response, Büyük emphasized that the institution’s aim was to focus on scientific educational and success. His words were echoed by Professor Salih Hoşoglu, chosen to be the university rector, who said that their main mission was to educate students at world standards.

“We are pleased with the success of all Fezalar schools and believe that Ishik University will also be successful,” said Himdad A. Muhammad, the Kurdistan’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research director of private education. As for relations with Turkey,
www.ekurd.net he said: “These are political issues and we are dealing with scientific studies and education. But we are happy with the latest developments. We hope the opening of this university will contribute to the improvement of relations.”

University to open with four departments:

The university will have four departments: dentistry, engineering, economics, and administrative sciences and education. Rector Hoşoglu explained that there would be English preparatory classes to fulfill the requirement that foreign universities in northern Iraq offer education in English. “Demand from students to enroll at Ishik is high, and we need to open evening programs to meet it,” Büyük said, mentioning also that the university would only be accepting students with the highest scores on the ministerial higher education entrance exam.

Copyright, respective author or news agency, todayszaman com   

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