Afghan Students Awarded Türkiye Scholarships Unable to Study in Turkey Due to Suspension of Flights From Afghanistan

Afghan students who have been awarded Türkiye Scholarships are unable to travel to Turkey, as the flights from Afghanistan are currently suspended following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan on August 15, Erudera.com reports. 

“Due to the suspension of international flights from Afghanistan and problems in certain official transactions, our students, who were awarded scholarship in 2021, cannot be transferred to Turkey at this stage,” Türkiye Scholarships Burslari’s announcement reads. 

According to the announcement, if any new opportunities regarding the issue emerge in the upcoming weeks, the program will facilitate students’ travel to Turkey through flights covered by scholarships. 

The statement further highlighted that the rights of Afghan students who cannot attend universities in Turkey will be reserved for one year, and that online or on-site Turkish language education programs will be provided to these students.

“In this process, for the students who come to Turkey with their own means, transportation expenses will be compensated within the framework of the previously determined standards,” the statement added. 

Meanwhile, students who have been awarded a scholarship before 2021, but are currently in Afghanistan, are advised by the program officials to wait until their universities begin studies. If classes begin and students have not managed to travel to Turkey, they are recommended to apply to their universities and freeze their course registration.

After freezing their course registration, students must inform the program about it, via Türkiye Bursları Bilgi Sistemi (TBBS). According to the statement, once the registration is frozen, the period frozen will not be counted from the scholarship duration. 

YTB has called students to follow its announcements on a regular basis, adding that they hope the situation in Afghanistan will improve soon, so students will be able to attend Turkish universities where they have been expected to study with scholarships.

The UK has recently paused Chevening scholarships to 35 Afghan students who were expected to pursue higher education in the United Kingdom as of September. The Foreign Office said that the Chevening scholarships had to be deferred for a year as the embassy was unable to process student visas following developments in Afghanistan.

“After careful deliberation, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has with deep regret decided to pause the Chevening programme in Afghanistan for the academic year 2021-2022,” a letter by the British Ambassador to Kabul, Sir Laurie Bristow, reads.

UNHCR’s data show that since the 1970s, the majority of Afghan refugees and asylum seekers have settled in Afghanistan’s neighboring countries such as Turkey, Pakistan, or Iran, with Turkey hosting a total of 116,403 Afghan asylum seekers and 980 Afghan refugees.

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