Final program of 9th International Student Meeting which we organized in collaboration with the Federation of International Student Associations was held with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s attendance in Sinan Erdem Sports Hall. Students coming from multiple countries around the world took the stage in the program. The program started with recitation of the Qur’an by a Palestinian student. After the speech of the Chairman of TÜMED on behalf of 60,000 international graduate students; the program continued with performances of guest students such as International Janissary Band, Syria Dance Show, Burundi Dance Team and Caucasian Dance. We came together with the message of “We are brothers, we are the future” in the program. Participants were full of emotion listening the songs of Ömer Karaoğlu.

Following the opening speech of UDEF Chairman Mehmet Ali Bolat, our Chairman İsmail Emanet addressed to the youth. Emanet stressed the importance of unity. “Some negative developments in the Islamic world should not drive us to despair because a Muslim never gives up hope. Only the people who are hopeful can succeed. The patience, tolerability and determination for struggle increase through hope and this is the only possible way to make the world more liveable. There is no challenge we cannot handle with a youth who strives to win the permission and consent of Allah, blow away the cobwebs away without stopping, get their eyes on the horizon instead of wasting their time with the past.” he said. Moreover, Emanet who told example of Ashab-ı Suffa to the youth asked in order to obtain a promise: “Are we going to study to establish Ashab-ı Suffa of 2023?”

In the wake of greeting speech of Chairman İsmail Emanet and the protocol; President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan started his speech with expressing his satisfaction for being in the 9th International Student Meeting.

President Erdoğan emphasized that Islamic civilization is the civilization of wisdom and quoted from Prophet Muhammad: “Science is the lost property of a Muslim who gets it wherever he finds.” “Our most important character is to get the truth wherever it is and imprint it into our life after filtering. Today 4,5 million students maintain their education outside their own country in the world. The majority of them prefer certain countries such as the USA, UK, France and Australia. We witnessed that many of these countries regard international students as a profit and commercial commodity. I mean a giant sector was occurred. However, for our nation, international students are not an income channel. Contrarily, our guest students conduce toward embracing with friendly countries, cooperation and sharing of experience. We aim at contributing to an environment of tranquility, peace and security which will embrace all humanity with our guest students.” he said.

President Erdoğan said that guest students who receive higher education in Turkey that has been a cradle to different civilizations and cultures for thousands of years and have memory of the history of humanity are lucky. “Experiencing the history, culture, weather and most importantly well-known hospitality of this country is a great achievement in itself. History of Turkey is the essence and summary of very old civilizations ruled over three continents. In Turkey, you also see a result of Africa, Asia and Europe not just a country and a nation. Studying history, politics, law, sociology, economics and foreign policy in Turkey give you a point of view that you cannot find anywhere.” he added.

President Erdoğan told the story of an Afghan student who has studied sociology in Turkey for three years and conveyed his words from his letter: “My ideas have changed so much since I came to Turkey. While I was in Afghanistan, I had been only thinking about Afghanistan and my family but now I am thinking about all people as a Muslim. There are students from every country in Turkey and we are the same and equal. Thank God, I am very good at the moment and I feel like I am at home here. I would like to do everything that I can do for my country and humanity from now onward.” He continued his speech:”I know that words of this student is very familiar to you and at the same time I know that this is your story. Do not forget that every journey change and develop the person. Your point of view and understanding regarding the environment and world differentiate with every journey. However I want you to pay attention to this particular detail. Changing is different, alienation is different. There is a strict distinction between integration and assimilation. If a person or a student breaks his ties with his own culture, values and roots; he does not change, contrarily, he is alienating. Someone who looks down on his own nation does not benefit himself or his family and country. We suffered the consequences of this and we still do. African, Middle Eastern, Asian countries are paying the price of it for years. Unfortunately, our common history is full of these kinds of human debris and lost generations. I believe that you are not on the wrong track and you are not being disdainful of their own values.”

He emphasized that receiving education in Turkey is just a key. “The key that will open the door is your belief, aim and pray. This advice of our Prophet should guide to you: ‘The most loveliest job in the presence of Allah is the continuous job, even a little.’ The continuity of drops pierces marble; not the power of water. You never give up from searching, researching and questioning. I believe that you will continue your way within the framework of this principles and increase your success. Just keep in mind that now you have a second motherland. Turkey is the second home for each of you. Whenever you need, we will carry on taking your side.” President Erdoğan said.

At the end of his speech, President Erdoğan repeated his thanks to the UDEF and TÜGVA which held the 9th International Student Meeting and ended his speech with wishing success for students in their educational life.