The Ambassador of Turkey in Russia Hussein Dirioz has visited St Petersburg University. He and SPbU’ Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs, Extra-Curricular Affairs and Methodological Support Ekaterina Babeliuk discussed cultural and educational issues, met students and spoke with them in Turkish.

Ekaterina Babliuk told to the delegation of the Embassy of Turkey about what opportunities our students have to gain insights into the Turkic studies: the students can learn the language in depth together with history, areal studies and culture. SPbU is striving to be at the cutting-edge of global development and promptly respond to the challenged in politics, economy, and social sphere by introducing new interdisciplinary programmes with a specific focus on the countries and regions that can be Russia’s strategic partners.

St Petersburg University is of great interest to Turkey, said Hussein Dirioz. The Turkic studies appeared at the University as far as 1882 and thirteen years later, in 1835, the University opened the Department of Turkish Language.  Since then, learning and teaching the Turkic studies has gained global recognition. “Your University is the oldest centre for Turkic languages in Russia. The school of Turkic studies at SPbU is the best one in the country”, — said Mr Dirioz.

Strong academic collaboration is vital for economic cooperation, he says.  “We would like to develop academic exchange programmes between the universities in our countries”, — said Mr Dirioz.

Today we are witnessing a slight decline of interest in the Turkish language, said Ekaterina Babeliuk. Several years ago, Turkish students came to St Petersburg University to study Russia. Now the University actively cooperates with Koc University in Istanbul. The University is planning to introduce the Turkish language testing system TÖMER and open the Centre for Russian Language in Koc University. Mr Dirioz promised to help.

When Mr Dirioz met students, he said that although he had recently started to learn Russian, he just adored classic Russian literature and knew about current trends and tendencies in Russian literature. Russia and Turkey have much to share and they should pay particular attention to arts, education and science. The University’s students and professors asked questions in Turkish about scholarships to study in Turkey’s universities, joint summer schools, visa regulations and others.