CORUM, Turkey 

International students in central Turkey praised the country Wednesday for its efforts in battling the novel coronavirus. 

Students from various countries who are studying at Hitit University in Corum province preferred to remain in Turkey rather than return home.

The university administration is taking care of their needs while the students continue their distance education.

“Unfortunately, Iraq is going through a tough time due to the virus. Health services are not enough for the people, and the virus cases are not being shared with the public. In Turkey, hospitals and doctors are very reliable,” said Iraqi student Saba Alsammarrie.

“Our friends who went to Europe for the Erasmus student exchange program also regret this decision and wish they had stayed in Turkey. In Europe, they don’t even dare go to the hospitals,” she added.

Bismillah Azimi from Afghanistan has been living in Turkey for three years and studies economics at Hitit University.

“The university administration took great care of us. I could’ve returned to Afghanistan, but I knew I would be safer here in Turkey. They provided us with everything we need,” he said.

A student from Cameroon, Mamat Isa, said they are lucky to be in Turkey.

“Turkey has taken extensive measures against the virus. For that reason, it made a lot of sense to stay here. Thank God I am in Turkey,” he said.

The university’s rector, Dr. Ali Osman Ozturk, said there are 257 international students from 33 countries at Hitit University.

Some students who went to Europe for the Erasmus exchange program wanted to come back due to a lack of adequate health services there, and the process to bring them back to Turkey is still ongoing, he said.

“Our international students trusted us and our government and stayed here. We are doing everything we can to keep them comfortable. University personnel and the administration are working hand in hand to meet their every need,” Ozturk added.

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