Turkey Internships, a program run by a state-run agency, helps young Turs living abroad get to know their homeland better while experiencing how the state works with temporary jobs in public institutions. The program also offers training in how Turks can promote their country of origin.
Initiated last year by state-run the Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) authority, this year the program admitted 160 university students aged 18-26 from various countries who seek to strengthen bonds with their home country. They improve their Turkish, which inevitably becomes a secondary language for many abroad, gain an insight into Turkish social life and are offered a chance to launch a career in Turkey. The YTB covers all student expenses during their brief stay in Turkey (apart from the internship) and classes on Turkish history, how to represent Turkey while living abroad , Turkish foreign policy, public speaking and cultural trips.
Ayla Yasemin Dağoğlu is a 24-year-old business administration student from Sweden where her father settled in 1992 before his marriage to her Swedish mother. Dağoğlu stayed with her mother, while her father returned to Turkey. "I like Turkey very much, and I always wanted to improve my Turkish skills. I stay for a few months every year. I have no Turkish relatives in Sweden, and I get to know Turkey better in every visit," Dağoğlu told Anadolu Agency (AA). "I meet very valuable people during this program and saw many beautiful places around Turkey. I learned about my own culture," she said.
Tuğçe Sinanoğlu, who studies law in Austria, is a third-generation member of a family that settled in Austria decades ago. She says racism has been on the rise in Europe in the past few years. "Some people are kind to foreigners, but others ostracize us. I was raised in two different cultures and try to represent my community in the best way. I want to show people in Austria that Turks can easily adapt into society and live in both cultures," she says.