Students coming from Tunisia to Türkiye for their higher education not only promote Turkish culture in their region but also contribute to the literature of both countries. Among such initiatives, the launch of "Sahra Magazine," a bilingual publication in Tunisia, brings together Turkish lovers in the region.
Tunisian love for Türkiye is not unknown to the nationals of both countries, and over time their ties are getting even stronger.
The bilingual magazine is published in Turkish and Arabic under the leadership of Türkiye’s Education Counselor in Tunisia professor Ilyas Yavuz.
Students and teachers from Algeria and Morocco also contribute to the magazine, which mostly includes articles about students learning Turkish and adapting to Turkish culture.
The articles about traveling, memoirs, poetry, literature and free articles are featured in the publication supported by the teachers affiliated with the Ministry of National Education who teach Turkish lessons abroad.
Explaining the reasons for publishing the magazine, Yavuz said: "This publication is an educational home for our students." He shared that the idea of publishing a magazine was a mutual decision, as it would be beneficial to publish a Turkish magazine together with Turkish teachers in Tunisia to increase the number of students learning Turkish and to motivate current students.
Sharing how they decided on the name Sahara for the publication, the professor said: "At first, we searched for a name that describes this region and has a relationship with us. Our students also supported us during the process. Out of about 40 names we chose Sahara, 'the desert,' because not only Tunisian but also Algerian students learn Turkish in Morocco. We wanted to address a region rather than a country."
"The Sahara Desert is a common natural feature in all these countries. It reflects a common culture and lifestyle," he added.
Referring to the Ottoman state in the region, Yavuz said: "We have lived together with the people of the region for about three centuries. There is a common future between Türkiye and this region. Therefore, we strive to develop the common culture among us."
Emphasizing that they are trying to include everyone who wants to contribute to the magazine, Yavuz said: "Among those who write in this magazine are Tunisian students learning the Turkish language and our Turkish teachers. But our magazine is open to all Turkish lovers. Our students translate into Arabic articles in Turkish and then submit them to the editorial board. In this way, our students hone their writing and editing skills."
Touching upon his experience of working in Tunisia for about two years now, the professor said: "We have observed a significant increase in the number of students who want to learn Turkish. The demand for the Turkish language has increased in high schools and language institutes of universities."
"We try to support our students. We have also organized joint trip programs from time to time to ensure that our successful students visit Türkiye," he added.
Reiterating that Turkish was initially taught as an elective course in high schools in Tunisia in 2012, Yavuz said that under the mutual agreement, the Tunisian colleagues come to Türkiye and teach Arabic at schools. "Similarly, we also encourage Turkish teachers to go to the 'Sahara region' to teach Turkish," he concluded.