TBILISI, Georgia

Despite the coronavirus crisis, teenagers in Georgia are continuing their quest to master the Turkish language.

They have Turkey’s state-run Yunus Emre Institute to thank for this, which has not let the pandemic affect its multiple activities, including the distance education program.

The institute works to promote Turkish language, history, and culture, and has been teaching Turkish in collaboration with more than 40 cultural centers around the world.

Georgia has been under a state of emergency since March 21 and the restrictions will remain in force until May 22.

The country of over 3.7 million people has recorded 615 COVID-19 cases so far, including nine deaths and 275 recoveries.

The situation, though, has not diminished Georgians’ desire to learn Turkish, according to Nino Nadashvili, a student who spoke to Anadolu Agency via video link.

“Yes, we are going through a stressful and frustrating period, but nothing can stop us. If anything, we have been working with even more motivation,” he said.

Maka Khositashvili, a Georgian teenager who works at a hotel, said she was just as committed to completing her Turkish language course.

Teona Tsintsadze, a Turcology student at Tbilisi State University, said the Turkish lessons made these difficult days more enjoyable.

For Elmar Khalilov, a senior student at Georgia Technical College, learning Turkish remains a pursuit of “love and passion”.

“The virus that has affected the whole world could not dim our love and passion for Turkish. COVID-19 could not halt our education; we continue to learn Turkish with great pleasure and enthusiasm,” he said.

*Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur

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