Ties between Pakistan and Turkey are set to reach new heights as public schools in the country's largest province Punjab may soon offer Turkish language courses.
Ulas Ertas, director of the Yunus Emre Institute in Lahore, shared the latest information ahead of Turkish Language Day, which is being celebrated on Friday. This year, Turkey and the world will mark the 745th anniversary of the Turkish language.
In 1277, the pre-Ottoman ruler Mehmet I of Karaman, in what is now central Turkey, declared Turkish the official language of the Karamanid dynasty. Turkish is now the official language in Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and is spoken as the mother tongue by millions of people in numerous countries, in particular former territories of the Ottoman Empire.
“Pakistan and Turkey have heart-to-heart relations," Ertas told Anadolu Agency. “I joined this center in 2018, and in just four years, more than 1,000 students have completed different levels of Turkish language courses.”
He added, "Along with in-person classes, we are offering online lessons as well."
The Yunus Emre Institute is a non-profit organization founded in 2007 to promote Turkish culture, language, and arts across the world. It has expanded to 66 countries, signed agreements with more than 400 universities, and provided 3.5 million Turkish language diplomas worldwide.
In Pakistan, it has three chapters – in Karachi, Lahore, and the capital Islamabad – and is offering all six levels – A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2 – with three Turkish teachers and six locals who passed the top-level C2 exam.
“Data shows that with each passing year, people are willing to learn Turkish more and more, and with the popularity of the Turkish television series Dirilis: Ertugrul (Resurrection: Ertugrul), many students are already familiar with the language," Ertas said, referring to a historical Turkish TV drama that has won fans worldwide.
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