Turkish academics call for boosting ties with India

Istanbul-based university academics point out opportunities in the education sector to enhance bilateral ties

Turkish academics call for boosting ties with India

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey and India can enhance bilateral ties by exploring opportunities in the education sector, a Turkish professor told Anadolu Agency.

Serdar Demirel, a professor of Islamic studies at the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakif University, and Hamdi Arslan, an Arabic Language instructor at the same university, made the call to improve ties in an interview with Anadolu Agency Thursday.

Demirel and Arslan recently concluded a two-week visit to India, where they visited several cities, including Deoband and Lucknow in the Uttar Pradesh state. One of the main objectives of the academics was to explore avenues to establish links between Indian and Turkish universities.

“Earlier, Turkish universities used to be in contact with universities in the West. But, now we want to connect with the universities in East as well,” Demirel explained.

The Turkish academics also met Indian religious leaders, including Maulana Arshad Madani, president of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind.

Demirel and Arslan also visited several Indian universities, including the Jamia Millia Islamia, University of Delhi and Aligarh Muslim University to analyze their methods and met professors, including Salman Husaini Nadwi from the Darul Uloom Deoband University.

Demirel said Indian and Turkey relations were currently not at the desired level.

“We need to cooperate and further strengthen the relations with each other. I was informed that only 400 Turkish people currently live in India, which is very few. The number of Indians living in Turkey is very few as well. So, there is a need to further strengthen ties,” he said.

He suggested that the universities of both countries could explore opportunities for collaboration.

“It can be done in different ways through business and diplomacy. But since we are academics, we would like to strengthen our relations through education.

“We would like to sign MoUs [Memorandum of Understanding agreements] with Indian universities for student and staff exchange programs, and for joint projects,” he said, adding that such options were also discussed with their Indian counterparts.

“Academics can then put forward their studies and roadmaps to businessmen, political and nongovernmental organizations, and show how they could cooperate with each other. Currently, there is no roadmap,” Demirel said.

He added that the some Indian universities such as the Jamia Millia Islamia, University of Delhi and Aligarh Muslim University were also willing to come to Istanbul.

While comparing the education system of both countries, he said: “India is good in computer sciences and Turkey is also good in engineering and medical sciences. Islamic studies are the same in both countries. Both the countries can work together in all these areas,” the professor said.

He pointed out that at the moment both sides lacked experts on their respective countries.

“If we want someone in India who can speak about Turkey or you need someone in Turkey who can speak about India you won’t get any experts in the two countries,” he said.

“We need to train experts in both countries. These experts can then assist the government and NGOs, and frame a roadmap so that both countries can work together to improve their relationship.”

He also called for more exchanges in other sectors as well between the two sides.

“I am very upset that there is not much business and other exchanges between the two countries,” he said. 

aa

Last Mod: 27 Kasım 2016, 09:43
Add Comment