Yunus Emre Enstitüsü

A Song, A City and A Summer Won’t Be Without You

I am Alla, I live in the capital of Armenia, Yerevan. I study at the Yerevan State University in the Faculty of International Relations. I had no idea on Turkey and Turkish when I first started the university. There were Russian and English in the department I study. I started learning Turkish apart from these languages. To be honest, I did not like Turkish at all in the begging but when I started watching Turkish TV series, I wanted to learn and speak Turkish.
Other than series, I started listening to music. Especially, the “Won’t be without you” song of Güliz Ayla has become one of my favorite songs. Of course, my love of Turkey has grown more and a Turkey dream has started within me. I looked for the ways to go to Turkey. I heard the name of The Yunus Emre Institute which is one of international culture foundations of Turkey, but unfortunately, there is none in Armenia. The Yunus Emre Institute holds Summer Schools every year. When the registry date came, I did mine for the Summer School. Of course, I became happy when my participation to the Summer School became certain.
Waiting excitedly, I received my ticket’s details. I learnt that I would go to a city called Sivas. Before coming to Turkey I was a little afraid, because I am both Armenian and Christian. After coming, my thoughts changed a lot. In Turkey, especially in Sivas, people are not cold as we are. Meals are extremely yummy there, especially Sivas meatballs, of course. We stayed in Sivas for three weeks.

The Yunus Emre Institute did not ask for any money from us. We received Turkish classes everyday and did some fun activities. We met people from other countries and these people became my siblings, thanks to Turkish. Later, we attended some cultural trips and programs in Istanbul . We visited the Bosphorus and the islands. We had the last dinner all together with the Summer School students, counselors and officials. I received my certificate and I sang the “Won’t be without you” song of Güliz Ayla.
Like all the beautiful dreams, this beautiful dream came to its end. It was time to go. We sent off the first friends to go all together and cried a lot. The ones whose turn came went and we always cried. My turn came and I cried more; my eyes swelled of crying. I was scared a lot before coming, but my thoughts changed completely; nobody behaved me badly for I am Armenian on Christian. Everybody behaved well. I went through some things of which the minutes, the seconds, I will never forget. The Yunus Emre Institute and the Summer School gave me the gift the people whom I will never forget, I will miss a lot. I did not want to go back to my country at all. I want to thank a lot to the ones who made me live this, to Turkey.
Now, I am in my country and I tell Turkey whenever possible. I actually thought that Istanbul, İzmir, Ankara are more beautiful, but for me Sivas is the most beautiful city of Turkey. I want to do my masters degree in Turkey. Thanks again for everything…

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Ebru Çavdar

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