Turkish students learning nuke know-how in Russia
ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
49 Turkish students studying in the engineering departments of various Turkish universities are receiving education in Russia. All students say that it was very difficult to get used to the cold and the food at first but they have overcome these problems. AA photosCreating a cadre to run Turkey’s first planned nuclear plant, 49 Turkish students are continuing to receive an education in nuclear energy in preparation for eventual employment at the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant in the southern province of Mersin.
The 49 are appreciated by their Russian instructors due to their ability to learn quickly, Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant Deputy Director Rauf Kasumov recently told Anatolia news agency.
“Vietnamese students take the same classes at the university. When I ask the academics about the Turkish students, they say: ‘Vietnamese students are hard-working, but Turks are ingenious. They learn everything faster than them.’ It makes me very happy,” Kasumov said.
Fifty Turkish students, who were chosen through exams and interviews, began training at Mephi University in Moscow in September 2011, but one later had to leave due to health problems, Kasumov said.
One of the students, Hasan Hüseyin Kesici, said he had applied to the program while studying at Gazi University’s Physics Department because Turkey was an important country for the future of the energy sector.
“I had difficulty in adapting to the cold weather and the food. But six months have passed and I feel better now. Our education has become more enjoyable as we learn Russian even though it is a difficult language,” he said.
Keici said he was proud of being one of the first students receiving an education in nuclear energy. “Nuclear energy is a delayed project in our country although it is very important. I feel proud that I will be able to use nuclear technology for the benefit of our country.”
Another student, Gökçehan Tosun, applied to the program while he was attending Ankara University’s Computer Engineering Department.
“We have been here for six months and our conditions are pretty good. It was difficult for us to get used to the cold and the food, too, but it is OK now. We can speak Russian enough to [go about our daily lives]. We can even sing Russian songs. Besides my family, I miss the street simit of Ankara,” Tosun said.
‘Those who did not come are regretful’
Mümin Demir from Yalova University’s Energy Systems Engineering Department said he was already used to living abroad as he had gone to San Diego with the Work and Travel Program and that he had the opportunity to learn about different countries and cultures through an education in nuclear energy.
“Students who come to Russia are not regretful about their decision but those who did not come regret it. I have friends who passed the exam but decided not to come at the last minute. They say that they’re sorry [they didn’t come],” Demir said.
Meltem Pınar said she had passed the exam for the program while she was studying at Hacettepe University’s Nuclear Energy Engineering Department.
“We will help other Turkish students who come to Russia to overcome problems,” Pınar said, adding that she had been particularly impressed by the fact that March 8 International Women’s Day was an official holiday in Russia.
Other students Buğra Saat, Umur Yılmaz and Safa Duman said they were aware of the importance of the education for Turkey. “Our country lags behind in the field of nuclear energy. It makes us proud that we will become experts on it,” Duman said.
Despite concerns from many about the dangers of nuclear power, Turkey’s government remains committed to constructing the Akkuyu plant in partnership with a Russian company.