Al-Bab, a town in northern Syria, was once dragged into darkness and oppression by the Daesh terrorist organization. In 2016, Turkey launched Operation Euphrates Shield and cleared al-Bab of Daesh. Since then, Turkish authorities have launched many initiatives to bring daily life back to normal in the town and the broader Euphrates Shield region, with the latest being a trilingual university faculty being established.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, professor Ramazan Taşaltın, the rector of Turkey's Harran University in southeastern Şanlıurfa, said that its university would establish a faculty in Syria's northwestern al-Bab city, which will operate in English, Turkish and Arabic.
Al-Bab is located inside Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield area. Students in areas covered by Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch, which was launched in northwestern Afrin in January, will benefit from the faculty.
Taşaltın said the new session would start next month. He said six departments will open in the first phase and trilingual education in Turkish, Arabic and English will be provided. Taşaltın also said that the first two years of university will be provided in al-Bab and the remaining two years will be completed in Şanlıurfa, Turkey. He added that it might be possible for them to provide all four years of education in al-Bab in the next period.
Reminding that since the beginning of the civil war, Turkey is the country that has sided with those suffering from this conflict, Taşaltın said that after all these years, Syrians finally will be able to be educated in their country in a secure environment.
Taşaltın added that they have determined the departments of the faculty in accordance with the needs of the region and that in future, there might be some alterations in the schedule.
"In al-Bab, at first, we will open a faculty. We will start lessons in construction, electricity, machining, zoo technics, gardening in September and we will give math, physics and chemistry classes," said Taşaltın.
He added that they plan to have 30 students in each classroom, which have already been prepared for the semester.
Since the liberation of the province in 2016, al-Bab's population has jumped from 130,000 to 300,000, with its economy and services benefiting from the safe environment.
Al-Bab, an important crossroads and settlement in northeastern Aleppo province, was liberated from the four-year-long cruel Daesh rule on Feb. 22, 2017, by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters as part of Operation Euphrates Shield launched on Aug. 24, 2016, to clear the terrorist group from Turkey's border regions.
Due to its strategic importance, al-Bab witnessed the fiercest clashes between Daesh terrorists and Turkish forces, especially in the Sheikh Aqeel district overlooking the town.
Its heavily damaged infrastructure and public buildings have also either been restored or completely rebuilt thanks to Turkey's efforts since the liberation.
As a part of these reconstruction efforts, Turkey opened a 500-bed hospital in al-Bab in April, being the third and largest medical institution in the area. The hospitals, which are run by the Turkish Health Ministry, are equipped with all the necessary equipment in case of an armed conflict.
Turkey's first hospital opened in Jarablus in September 2016, after the town was liberated by Operation Euphrates Shield. Along with the two hospitals in al-Bab and Jarablus, another one came into service in Afrin, which was liberated from the YPG on March 18 by Operation Olive Branch.
Besides health services, there has also been a rapid recovery in terms of infrastructure, security and social life in northern Syria in areas liberated by Turkish and FSA forces. An administration was established with the participation of local people in areas cleared of Daesh, including al-Rai, Jarablus, al-Bab and Azaz.
Light also brought back to al-Bab, Jarablus, Al-Rai and Azaz by Turkey with the help of 600 new solar-powered street lights in July.
The solar panel street lights were placed by local Syrian NGOs - founded with Turkish help - in northern Syrian Daesh-free districts, south of Turkey's border. With the help of solar streetlights, while the economic burden on the towns is reduced, residents also say that women and children can also now go out freely.
Moreover, local councils have also been established to administer the normalization process after the eviction of Daesh; regular security forces were formed, and these local councils manage projects on education, infrastructure and the economy.