©Levent Kulu

UNDP Turkey Goodwill Ambassador Mert Fırat visited the Turkish language course for adults attended by Syrians at the Public Education Centre in Zeytinburnu, Istanbul

11 April 2019, Istanbul – Turkish language courses started on 25 March 2019 for adult Syrians under temporary protection in Turkey under the “Turkey Resilience Project in response to the Syria Crisis (TRP)” implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), funded by the European Union (EU). A total of 52,000 adult Syrians will learn Turkish at 53 Public Education Centres in 10 provinces of Turkey.

Syrian participants receiving language training at Zeytinburnu Public Education Centre for a better future enjoyed a pleasant surprise by the visit of Mert Fırat on 11 April in their classroom. Serving as a trainer for a part of the lesson, Mert Fırat had conversation with participants and trainers. Inquiring the Syrians about their experience to date, what challenges they encountered and why they wanted to learn Turkish, Fırat listened to their dreams which they wished to achieve by the training.

Noting that learning Turkish was important for Syrian individuals to empower themselves and participate in social life, and that he was very happy for the visit, Mert Fırat said: “The language problem is the largest barrier for Syrian individuals to living in harmony with the host communities, and earning their lives. I believe that speaking the same language will entail many facilities.”

Syrian participants stated that meeting with Mert Fırat was an unforgettable experience, and gave them more strength and motivation for learning Turkish.

Turkish language training for adults under the “Turkey Resilience Project in response to the Syria Crisis (TRP)”

Language training is very important for refugees trying to build a new life in a new country. While language is the largest barrier to social and economic integration, language training represents an opportunity to access education and labour markets, self-sufficiency, self-confidence and hope.

The “Adult Language Training Component” TRP is implemented in collaboration of the General Directorate of Lifelong Learning of the Turkish Ministry of National Education of Turkey and the United Nations Development Programme.

The training is delivered at 53 Public Education Centres in 10 provinces of Turkey (Adana, Bursa, Gaziantep, Hatay, Istanbul, Izmir, Kilis, Konya, Mersin and Şanlıurfa). The training in Istanbul is delivered in 11 districts (Arnavutköy, Bağcılar, Başakşehir, Esenler, Esenyurt, Fatih, Kağıthane, Küçükçekmece, Sultanbeyli, Ümraniye, Zeytinburnu).

It is aimed that 50% of the participants across the country should be women so that the training will contribute to empowering Syrian women. Of the 283 master trainers who deliver training to Syrian individuals, 68% are women.

TRP commenced on 1 February 2018 to enable Syrians in Turkey, host communities and national/local institutions to better cope with the impact of forced migration. The two-year project with €50m budget will benefit 2,000 Syrians and host community members for employment and livelihoods, 52,000 Syrians for Turkish language training, and more than 307,000 Syrians and host community members for improved municipal services.

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