There are thought to be some 7,000 Turkish people living in Qatar, but a lack of Turkish schools has until now prevented more families from emigrating there, according to the school’s director, Mehmet Said Karatosun.
“We hope our school will encourage Turkish families to stay in the country”
“We hope our school will attract many Turkish families residing in Qatar and encourage other Turkish families to stay in the country,” he said.
“Turkish families are keen on teaching their children in Turkish schools.”
The Turkish School will have a capacity of around 350 students. It will offer the Turkish curriculum from grades one to eight and teaching will be in the Turkish language.
There are so far 60 students enrolled, which is expected to climb to 100 by the end of the academic year.
The school was launched alongside a new Turkish language course at the Yunus Emre Turkish Cultural Center in Doha, which also organises cultural events and arts workshops.
The centre was inaugurated last year by President Erdogan, during a visit celebrating the Qatar-Turkey 2015 Year of Culture.
It’s part of the Yunus Emre Institute, an international non-profit organisation and soft power initiative set up by the country’s government in 2007 to promote Turkish culture worldwide.
Speaking at the launch of the language programme, Turkish Ambassador Ahmet Demirok described it as a “very important step to further enhancing the relations between the two countries.”
“There is a huge demand in the Qatari society and the expatriate community towards learning Turkish and we take this chance to thank our government and the Qatari government who provided this opportunity,” he said.
There are 60 students enrolled in the four-month language course, which the ambassador said could move to a bigger building to give it greater capacity if demand grows.