Famous actor Mert Fırat meets Syrians learning Turkish
Famous Turkish actor Mert Fırat, the first goodwill ambassador of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Turkey, met Syrians at Istanbul’s Zeytinburnu Public Education Center on April 11, joining a Turkish language course.
He gave a class to Syrian adults as part of the course and talked about pronouns.
Fırat also asked the course participants about their experiences in Turkey and problems they have been facing for not knowing Turkish.
Fırat talked about the importance of Syrians knowing Turkish to be more active in public life. “The most important obstacle standing in front of Syrians for them to live in harmony with the host society and to earn their own lives is the problem of language. I believe that speaking the same language [with that of the host society] will bring many conveniences,” he said.
The participants said that it was a “memorable” experience for them to meet Fırat and his visit gave them more motivation to learn Turkish.
Turkish language courses started on March 25 for adult Syrians under temporary protection in Turkey as part of the “Turkey Resilience Project in response to the Syria Crisis [TRP]” implemented by the UNDP and funded by the EU. A total of 52,000 Syrian adults will learn Turkish at 53 public education centers in 10 provinces of Turkey.
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 labor markets, self-sufficiency, self-confidence and hope.
The “Adult Language Training Component” TRP is implemented in collaboration with the General Directorate of Lifelong Learning of the Turkish Education Ministry and UNDP.