BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) – The Turkish language courses offered by Turkey's Yunus Emre Institute (YEE) have drawn great interests in the Balkan countries.
The institute's courses and activities are promoting Turkish culture to strengthen the historical relations between Turkey and the Balkan countries.
Mehmet Akif Yaman, the institute's director for Bosnia and Herzegovina, told Anadolu Agency that around 500 students will take Turkish classes this year in the capital Sarajevo, Mostar and Fojnica cities.
The center has been operating in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2009.
Yaman said that the institute also organizes non-certified Turkish courses in 10 to 15 cities across the country.
Fahri Akdogan, director of Yunus Emre Institute in Serbia's capital Belgrade, said nearly a thousand students have benefitted from Turkish language courses in Belgrade.
The center in Belgrade has been operating since 2015.
Akdogan said that they currently have around 100 students.
"Most of the students are at the A1 (beginner) level. We think this is due to a huge demand for Turkish courses. This makes us very happy," said Akdogan.
He noted they are holding meetings on protocol negotiations with the Ministry of National Education in a bid to make Turkish language an elective course in the school.
Kosovo is another Balkan country where Turkish language courses drew an overwhelming response.
Mehmet Ulker, the director of the center in Pristina, said the institute is operating in Pristina, Prizren and Pec cities and that they have been receiving requests to launch Turkish language courses in other cities as well.
"Therefore, we are planning to hold additional courses in other cities as well," Ulker said.
Eda Polat, director of Yunus Emre Institute in Montenegro's capital Podgorica, expressed hope that the number of Turkish learners will continue to increase in the country.
Meanwhile, the institute in Croatia's capital Zagreb will host around 60 students in the new period. Around 50 students successfully completed and received their certificates in 2017.
Since its establishment in 2009, the Yunus Emre Institute has taught Turkish to more than 99,000 people in 45 countries.
Named after the influential poet Yunus Emre, the institute now has more than 56 cultural centers around the world providing an opportunity to people abroad to learn Turkish culture and art.