24 May 2013
Turkish FM Davutoglu and Turkey's YOK Chairman Cetinsaya signed cooperation agreement.
ANKARA -- Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Turkey's YOK Chairman Gokhan Cetinsaya have signed an agreement on Thursday to cooperate for the new Mevlana Exchange Programme for education on behalf of Turkish Foreign Ministry and Turkey's Higher Education Board, YOK.
Turkey's Higher Education Board’s (YOK) newly established program, the Mevlana Exchange Program was made public in Turkish capital Ankara.
Speaking before the signing ceremony in Ankara, Davutoglu stated that the new programme started in the very right time, in a compelling framework. Davutoglu said that education institutions have always carried the global knowledge to next generations, which should help each student to become an honored, ethical and well informed human.
He said that the level of Turkish universities, students and academicians has to rise as Turkey did in several areas in last ten years. "Now, we are ninth in world who is represented mostly. Hopefully we will be amongst top five in two years," he added.
"Actually Mevlana Exchange Pogramme has to carry the traces and content of harmonization which means; instead of the understanding of that culture and knowledge derives from one single center, cultures, produced in each level, could interact all the time with each other [...] I say openly that within the framework of this content, Turkish Foreign Ministry is under the command of this exchange programme," Davutoglu said. "If it includes an understanding of Mevlana which is 'Come, come whoever you are come', to distribute knowledge to everyone and to get knowledge from everyone. If it is an understanding of "If knowledge is in China, go and take it" which wants to emphasize the far distance of it, it means that you are trying to build your own 'walking civilization'".
Davutoglu noted that whenever he goes to Afghanistan, he visits the graveyard of Mevlana both to "smell his spiritual atmosphere" and to "see the interaction of Middle Asia and Indian circle and the wind of wisdom, blowing to Anatolia, a path of culture and civilization starting from Afghanistan's Balkh where Mevlana was born to Iran, Baghdad, Mesopotamia, Anatolia and finally to Konya".
He reminded the meeting last year with UN Security Council and stated that its international mission was to find solutions for problems. Saying that it did not even give a statement on the Syrian issue where hundreds of people died and millions of people lost their homes, Davutoglu said, "That's a conflict of the system. We did not expect UN Security Council not to do anything but do something at least for the refugees [...] There is a reflection of a power structure, built 70 years ago, 100 years ago, where no balance of values and interests was reached. All these defiances are in front of our eyes".
Cetinsaya stated that the cooperation agreement, signed between YOK and Turkey’s Foreign Ministry is not just on Mevlana Exchange Program yet it is going to be related to all Turkey's foreign relations and said, "ease of visa application process, preparation of certificate of equivalence, promotion of the universities are among the articles of the cooperation agreement.”
He noted that the program was parallel with Turkey’s 2023-year aims by saying, "In the scope of reaching our target of 21st century, globalization is a must. We target our institution to be internationalized as we are living in the 21st century.”
Cetinsaya said, like Turkey’s Foreign ministry, in order to run the new exchange program smoothly, they had been holding talks with Turkish Airlines and Yunus Emre Culture Centres.
He said, this newly formed exchange program was actually Turkey’s exchange program with the globe and underscored, “Even before holding the official introduction of the program, we have signed 228 protocols with 32 different countries across the globe as of today.”
He said, the program would start running for the 2013-2014 education year between foreign higher education institutions and 37 universities in Turkey.
Mevlana Exchange Programme is a programme which aims the exchange of students and academic staff between the Turkish higher education institutions and higher education institutions of other countries. With the regulation published on August 23, 2011, students and academic staff exchange between Turkish higher education institutions and of other countries has been possible. Mohammed Jalaladdin Rumi, known as Mevlana is accepted worldwide as an intellectual with his point of view to people and life. UNESCO, due to the 800th anniversary of Mevlana's birth, declared the year 2007 as Mevlana and Tolerance year.