In 2013, President Xi proposed the Belt and Road Initiative . For a decade, it has been an important platform and path for building a community of a shared future for mankind, which has already become an essential bond linking countries along the road.
Historic relations between China and Turkey can be traced back to the period of the ancient Silk Road in the Han dynasty. Both countries are rising developing countries with ancient civilizations and strong development. Today, Turkey gradually has become a major participant in the Belt and Road Initiative. From the point of view of Sino-Turkish relations, it is conducive to strengthen exchanges in higher education for the development of both sides. Today, let us read the stories of Turkish foreign teachers Brent Ozkan and Aicha Chalayan.
Brent (seventh from left) with his students
Regarding the Belt and Road Initiative, Brent stated that it is playing an important role not only between China and Turkey, but also within the Far East, the West and Africa. Aicha hailed it as a win-win initiative through which international trade has increased accordingly and the economic development of countries along with the Belt and Road Initiative has been boosted. “It’s pretty exciting because it can not only deepen the mutual understanding and relationships but also play a part in building in-depth economic and trade relations,” said Brent vehemently when talking about here, “It makes me feel really good.”
In 2017, Brent was invited to attend a meeting in China. It was his first visit to China. Before he came to China, Brent had been quite moved by the charm of Chinese culture. After arriving, the ability of China’s modernization to absorb the quintessence of traditional Chinese culture also captivated him. When he learned that there was a place where Turkish was taught in China, he felt pleased to teach Turkish here and help students further understand Turkish language and culture.
Aicha（in the middle）with her students
When Aicha found out about job opportunities in China, she was interested and excited to learn more about Chinese culture. After living for a period in China, Aicha gained understanding of various aspects of Chinese culture. She loves Chinese cuisine, festivals, and especially her life in China. Aicha believes that language teaching in the classroom can promote communication and cultural exchange between Chinese and Turkish teachers and students. “The students all fell in love with Turkish culture and language after majoring in Turkish.” Said Aicha.
The Belt and Road Initiative brings people from both countries with exchange opportunities at all levels and in all fields. This has not only promoted mutual understanding and friendship but also strengthened cultural exchange between China and Turkey. The initiative has enhanced our cultural confidence and stimulated national pride. Brent and Aicha said that the exchanges and cooperation between the two countries will be further enhanced with the further development of the Belt and Road, which requires more high-level talents who understand the languages and culture of the two countries. They will continue to teach Turkish language and culture in China in the future, and serve as messengers of cultural exchanges and mutual learning between the two countries.