Prof. Dr. Mustafa Şentop, Speaker of the GNAT visited International Learning Schools in Kalkandelen which are affiliated with Turkish Maarif Foundation. 22.12.2020

After the singing of Turkish and Northern Macedonian national anthems, Şentop commenced his speech by conveying Turkey’s and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s greetings, "I’d like to tell you that 83 million Turkish people’s hearts beat with yours."

Şentop underlined that Northern Macedonia Turks have a long history in terms of their desire for education and training with their national identities, material and nonmaterial values and most importantly their mother language, that is Turkish.

Şentop reminded that Learning Schools in Kalkandelen graduated their first high school students this year, "In this school where there are approximately 545 students and in which a service is offered with an understanding of contemporary education, we are proud just like you are. You have won four awards in science contests organized around the country. I wish you continued success. If Learning Schools are opened firstly in Skopje and then in other cities of Northern Macedonia, Learning Foundation Schools will become a big family."

Speaker Şentop indicated that, "As Turkey, we support Learning Foundation Schools. We stand behind them as a state. I have conveyed our expectations about this matter to the authorities of Northern Macedonia Government. Today, I’d like to reiterate it."

Şentop told that they hope to open schools and universities all around the world thus, strengthen the ties between our hearts.

Şentop told that this school in Kalkandelen teaches in four languages that are, Turkish, Albanian, Macedonian and English and that other than the schools in Kalkandelen, the Foundation has a kindergarten in Skopje; and if necessary paperwork is completed, they have elicited a building in order to build a school for primary and middle levels for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Akgün, President of Turkish Learning Foundation told that, as Learning Schools all around the world, they have been trying to build basic education curriculum on 5 basic principles:

"In this framework, we want all of our students to get an advanced contemporary science and math education. Secondly, we want our students to gain a social sciences perspective in order to get to know themselves and the world better and to gain a good sense of social sciences critical analytically. Third, technology is an absolute must for us; we are trying to provide a good technological background in order to prepare them for the future. Fourth, we are trying to give a good language education. We are making great efforts to teach our Turkish in the best way possible. Lastly, we try to teach our students their own countries’ and people’s local culture and national traditions. We want our next generations to be committed to their own countries, homeland and values and not to be alienated from their own communities."

Akgün pointed out that, even though barely, groups affiliated with FETÖ terrorist organization are still continuing their educational activities in these lands and emphasized that negative effects of this condition could only be eliminated with education and by opening alternative educational institutions.

Speaker Şentop and the accompanying delegation, Prof. Dr. Birol Akgün, President of Learning Foundation, Salih Murat, President of the Constitutional Court of Northern Macedonia, Hasan Mehmet Sekizkök, Ambassador of Turkey to Skopje, Sabri Demir, Senior Advisor to the President of the Republic of Turkey, politicians, academicians, representatives of Turkish institutions in the country and students participated in the program.

During the program, students read poems and there was a piano and guitar performance.

Şentop also visited Kalkandelen Alaca Mosque and Harabati Baba Dervish Lodge.

Şentop and the accompanying delegation visited Alaca Mosque within the context of their visit to Kalkandelen. Kani Nesimi, Mufti of Kalkandelen was also present during the visit and Şentop received information about Alaca Mosque.

After the visit of the Mosque, Şentop chatted with the congregation and took pictures, then went to Harabati Baba Dervish Lodge. Dede Edmond Brahimaj, Leader of all the Bektashis in the world accompanied them during their visit to the Lodge.