Number of Turkish Learners in Senegal Surge by the Day

Yazıcı-dostu sürüm

The projects undertaken by the Yunus Emre Institute in Dakar to promote Turkish culture, highlight educational prospects in Türkiye, and underscore the benefits of learning Turkish in Senegal make the prospect of learning the language increasingly appealing to Senegalese individuals.

Since its establishment in 2018, the Yunus Emre Institute in Dakar has been actively engaged in acquainting an expanding audience with Turkish culture and language through its Turkish language instruction programs.

“Our Turkish language courses received an overwhelming response”

Merve Işık Efe, Coordinator of the Yunus Emre Institute in Dakar, reflected on the Institute’s endeavors in Senegal and the enthusiastic reception of the Turkish language, stating, “Throughout last year, on the occasion of the centennial anniversary of our Republic’s founding, the Yunus Emre Institute in Dakar spearheaded numerous noteworthy cultural initiatives. From the football tournament hosted at Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD), the largest university in West Africa, to conferences and the Turkish Film Week held at Dakar’s most prestigious movie theater, our cultural engagement initiatives garnered significant attention. We observed the impact of these activities in January when we announced our Turkish language courses. Our Turkish language courses received an overwhelming response.”

Merve Işık Efe, Coordinator of the Institute, highlighted the significant increase in the number of participants in traditional Turkish arts workshops, including pottery, glass painting, and traditional Turkish archery courses held on weekends, noting that these workshops attract people from various professions and age groups, providing an opportunity to experience Turkish culture firsthand.

Coordinator Merve Işık Efe added, “Currently, we have nearly 70 trainees enrolled in our Turkish language courses, divided into 4 groups, here at our representative office. In addition to our in-person Turkish courses, we also offer online Turkish courses for trainees who reside far from Dakar and are unable to attend our Institute in person.”

Coordinator Efe remarked, “As part of the military collaboration between the Turkish Armed Forces General Staff and the Senegalese General Staff, we are providing Turkish language instruction to soldiers stationed at Cap Manuel Barracks. As the Institute, our goal for 2024 is to further increase the number of trainees.”

Efe further added that they aim to include Turkish as an elective course in the curriculum of schools affiliated with the Ministry of National Education through meetings held with high schools as part of the “My Choice is Turkish Project.”

Halil İbrahim Efe, Education Officer at the Yunus Emre Institute in Dakar, highlighted the Turkish language teaching initiatives of the Institute, noting that the majority of participants are students from Cheikh Anta Diop University.

“Being fluent in Turkish serves as a direct pathway to employment opportunities”

Efe emphasized the notable demand from students enrolled in the university’s faculties of social sciences and humanities, highlighting, “We have observed increased interest from students in fields like medicine, engineering, and pharmacy. We realized that this was owing to the investments made by Turkish entrepreneurs in Senegal, since being fluent in Turkish serves as a direct pathway to employment opportunities within Turkish investments in the region.”

Highlighting the impact of Türkiye Scholarships and Teknofest promotion programs organized by the Institute in universities and schools in promoting the Turkish language, Efe noted, “Our trainees include academics. They want to learn Turkish to facilitate their academic research in Türkiye.”

Kladoum Innocent from Chad, pursuing a master’s degree in nuclear medicine at UCAD and enrolled in the Turkish courses of the Yunus Emre Institute in Dakar, stated that learning Turkish would enhance his opportunities for academic studies at universities in Türkiye.

Innocent said, “We live in a multipolar world. To truly make a difference, we need to focus on languages other than French and English. I frequently come across Turkish articles related to my field. Learning Turkish would allow me to both engage with studies in Türkiye and pursue my academic career in this field there.”

Ndeye Aissataou Diouf, a master’s student in physics, emphasized that she believes Turkish proficiency could unlock various opportunities for her in education. She expressed her desire to learn Turkish to further her academic pursuits at universities in Türkiye.