By Lejla Biogradlija and Talha Ozturk
BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) – Ten students from Turkey volunteered in projects in Serbia as part of a special program of the Turkish state aid agency.
The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) experience-sharing program aims to instill in Turkish students a sense of volunteership with various projects across the world.
For a week the volunteer team carried out a number of cultural and charitable projects and activities in Serbia.
"The young people helped organize a wonderful, effective, high-energy program," Cagla Gultekin Tosbat, TIKA’s Belgrade program coordinator, told Anadolu Agency.
The volunteer students helped clean and clear an Ottoman cemetery in Novi Pazar, a majority-Muslim city in southern Serbia.
They also visited the Valide Sultan Mosque, which was renovated by TIKA in the city of Sjenica, in western Serbia.
In 1870, Valide Sultan — the only remaining imperial mosque in Serbia — was built by the Pertevniyal Sultan, the mother of the 32nd Ottoman Sultan Abdulaziz, who reigned from 1861 to 1876.
On the last day of the program, the group visited the 15th-century Ottoman Ram Castle renovated by TIKA in the town of Veliko Gradiste in eastern Serbia.
Turkish Airlines, Anadolu Agency, and the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) were TIKA’s partners in the program.
For its 2018 Experience-Sharing Program, TIKA will send some 500 Turkish students from 117 universities to 30 countries between July 29 and Sept. 8. The students will take part in nearly 100 projects and activities in their host countries.
The program covers such far-flung countries as Niger, Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Djibouti, Chad, Morocco, Ghana, Georgia, Cameroon, Montenegro, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Colombia, Lebanon, Macedonia, Mozambique, Namibia, Uzbekistan, Romania, Senegal, Serbia, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Jordan, Moldova, and South Africa.