Afghan student becomes Istanbul Technical University’s top student

Afghan student becomes Istanbul Technical University’s top student

Zeynep Bilgehan – ISTANBUL
Afghan student becomes Istanbul Technical University’s top student

Shokrullah Sorosh, a 24-year-old Afghan student, has become Istanbul Technical University’s (İTÜ) top student this year with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.99.

Sorosh was born in a village of Afghanistan’s Ghazni province and completed his degree in construction engineering at İTÜ. He told daily Hürriyet that he is the first member of his family who has ever attended a university.

“My father was always encouraging me. He said: ‘The education level in Afghanistan is not so good. If you get a scholarship that would be better for you.’ So I always studied for him. After completing high school as a top student, I took the university exams and was one of the ones who achieved the highest result,” Sorosh said.

“I then received an Afghanistan state scholarship to study in Turkey and earned the right to attend İTÜ,” he added.

He said it was initially hard for him to get used to Turkey as he was away from his family and he had to learn Turkish from scratch, but thanks to the friendships he established in Turkey he soon got used to both the university and the country.

“I liked the foods and the culture, but I liked my Turkish friends most of all. I learned Turkish thanks to them ... The biggest challenge however was to be away from my family. My older and young brothers got married but I could not go to their weddings,” Sorosh said.

“When I found out I was the top student at İTÜ it was one of the happiest moments of my life,” he said, adding that his only sadness is that his family could not come to the graduation ceremony.

Sorosh also spoke about his post-graduate plans, saying he wants to continue his education by doing master’s and PhD degrees.

“I also want to work on contemporary projects. There are good research opportunities in Turkish universities but there is no such opportunity in Afghanistan,” he said.

Asked what he thought about the recent uptick in the number of Afghan refugees coming to Turkey, he said many are “fleeing death.

“No one would want to be in that situation … Maybe professors are not coming from there. Rather, normal people want to live here in order to save themselves and their families. I do not understand speaking against people who are running away from death,” Sorosh added.