A UNIVERSİTY IS BEING ESTABLISHED
INTERVIEW WITH BÜNYAMİN KAYA
A. Mr. Kaya, could you introduce yourself, please? I would like to ask that where the idea of establishing a university came from and what your contributions were to such kind of project.
B. I was born in 1960. While we were in high school we used to watch curiously the documentary of TRT made by Japanese called ‘’Silk Road’’. It never goes from my mind that they were interviewing in a bazaar in the city of Turfan in Sincan district. The place of bazaar was reminding of the places which were in Turkey. The songs of İbrahim Tatlıses, Orhan Gencebay, Ferdi Tayfur and many of other singers’ songs were being played from the bazaar tables. I was moved to tears. When I look to see where the zone of Sincan was in the map I learnt that our brothers thinking like me from the distance of thousands kilometres lived here. It was nice feeling that people having common feelings and living in far places were from the society of relative – brother. Human is human in anywhere. They all have common maters in respect of world; even they are from different language, religion and culture. No doubt, while trying to understand and think about world humanity, the feeling to these publics becomes different due to their blood and culture relations. I was grown up with these thoughts. ALLAH destinated me to work in Turkish Learning Center (TÖMER) that is founded with the aim of teaching the children of Turkish workers in Germany, introducing Turkish and Turkish culture to these children who don’t know Turkish, and teaching Turkish to foreigners. With us, TÖMER has changed its shell and began to be a culture centre and language school. After that TÖMER has started to open its branches in many cities of Turkey and foreign countries (Germany, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan. At that time, I began to comprehend how the concept of language was significant in nations’ culture, art, literature, science and in many other fields. The idea of converting TÖMER first into an institution and then a Language University has become one of our fundamental aims of me and my friends thinking like me.
After that I was appointed to Turkish World Research Institute in University of Ege. The Ege TÖMER had been cancelled and was turned into institute in the related department. I took active role in establishing of this institute. After the independence of Turkish World, this instate did many academic works and will continue to do devoted to Turk States and Relative Communities in many different fields. After a ten years of working time in this institute, Allah destinated me to establish a university. I was appointed to University of Giresun as Secretary-General of Founder. I have worked there for eight years. We have increased the number of students from 7000 to 28000, the number of instructors from 80 to 400, and the number of faculty from 4 to 11. With reference to our experience, I have understood that establishing a university would not be too difficult.
After my retirement, one of my instructor friends, who is awaring of my thoughts and thinking like me, has stated me to have the idea of establishing a university with the name of University of International World languages in one of the regions of Ordu – Ünye. He also added that the relating project was taken into Mayor’s election program, and people in Ünye have sympathy to the idea. He finally asked me whether I would like to participate in such kind of work. And I accepted it. I met with Aydın Elmacı who is the pioneer of this work in Ünye.
Many meeting have been held in Ünye. In the end, we went into the effort of establishing a foundation named by ‘’International Culture Valley’’. The endeavours for establishing a new university have been hindered by decapitalization. Contacting with various people and intuitions have been going on.
A. Dear Kaya; why do you want to establish a university naming International World Languages? There is no sample of it in Turkey.
B. Just due to the lacking of such kind of a university in Turkey. And of course it is a must when we consider the conditions of Turkey.
A. Could you enlighten the subject, please?
B. As follows. . . Teaching mother tongue and foreign language are big matters in Turkey. These matters have been turned into issues, which have no clear solution, discussed in MEB (Ministry of National Education) council meetings, international symposiums organising a few times in a year, radio and TV sessions. Turkey pays 6 billion dollars in language teaching every year, but that is a drop in the bucket according to results of scientific research. In other words, money and time paid for language teaching disappear as in water poured into sand.
We are thing he issue of teaching mother and foreign languages as a big problem compared to matters dealt in MEB councils, symposiums. It is need to deal with these subjects in the universities which are servicing in the area of language and approaching the language with its theoretical and practical parts in 365 days of the year. As in cardiology relating to heart in medicine.
A. As far as we understood; this university will be a place where there are inter-cultural disciplines in the line of language. According to present YÖK (Council of Higher Education) law and regulation; will not serious legislative regulations cause trouble at the time of establishing this university?
B. Such kind of university samples exist in many countries of world. Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, England, etc. First, we need to persuade officials and bureaucrats after the completion of project part of university. A lot of dollars in Turkey are spent on English, Russian dictionaries, lesson materials, etc. due to the patent issue. First of all, this currency should stay on Turkey. Therefore, the justifications should be prepared well and presented to YÖK as such.
A. According to your statements, while the founding university is seeking to response to economical responses of country, it also aims to dominate and contribute language and culture policies of country.
B. Certainly! Our goal is to give a well mother language education from local to universal to our citizens, and make them a world person knowing at least two languages.
A. Based on the related project you are taking a big charge. Do you have officer, academician, instructor and bureaucrats who will have active role in the project?
B. It is a good question. It is a big project, so the people in the project should be qualified who have national and international experience. As I mentioned earlier, I am the first founder secretary of AÜ TÖMER that is a role model of International World Languages University. First in Ankara and then İstanbul, İzmir, Bursa, and in many other cities of Turkey language teaching centres have been opened. Turkish to foreigners and 18 languages to Turkish citizens have been given. The institute has been turned into semi-autonomous form having circulating capital. Its annual revenue has increase to millions of dollars. Different branches have been opened through the instructors working here.
There are alot of lectures worked in national and international universities and experienced the mission and the vision of the universities many years ago. In addition to this, there are experienced educators friends in our team from kindergarten to high school.
A.Okay then how much will be the estimated total cost of the university to be established?
B. Before anything else, the name of the university with its function and content will be the first in Turkey. Also,it will be the first in the world in terms of campus. The environment is greenery and inside the trees. Respectful to nature. A physical environment that the disabled to be easily reached everywhere. A living space(place) away from noise and traffic. There will be dormitory, library, entertainment centers so a university environment that students want. Education and learning environment built on multicultural and multilingual universal values.
There will be a natural aquarium surrounded by waters around the university. Shopping centers, restaurants, cafes will be around the faculties surrounding the aquarium for gren protection as much as possible. That is to be placed underground. Zoo, Fin and Turkish bath will take place.
After university founded, there will be 3000-4000 university students in that university. Also, there will be 2500-4000 MA and Phd students. In TÖMER connected to university, 14.000 students will learn language every year. The university in Disneyland atmosphere will be visited by 15.000 people every year. Language, art, literature, music and spor conferences, congress will be held. Universty that will become a cultural center. After the explanations, I want to give an answer your question. This university with faculties, lodging, libraries will be costed 200 million dolars.
A.Dear Kaya, Isn’t it a bit of a ‘dream’ to put into effect such of university? Everything starts dreaming. To imagine building such kind of university depends on businessman and then academic, bureaucrats. The university serves our country’s cultural and language policy and also based on universal law and human rights and a peaceful, respectful, environmental. Why not?
B.Could it be something like that? Can such kind of important project stay on the edge? Our first task is to project this and then to introduce the project into world and Turkey public attention. Government and private sector will absolutly put the Project into effect, they must put into effect… Because what we say! We are talking a campus environmental, peaceful, language, religion and culture investigated in specific disciplines, and where universal values are presented and maintained and it is a scientific centre.
A.Which departments will be in this university and your aims?
B. I would like to talk about physical place in a practical sense. Think Disneyland. The place that children play.. An environment in which adults run and have fun as children. So will be our campus. Four faculties and each of these four faculties around the circle will be surrounded by the aquarium. These aquariums converge in a central pool. In the campus, there won’t be no motor vehicles. Transportation will be provided with electrical vagons and bicyles. In the campus, there will be zoo, forest, langauge museum and congress center.
Total students will be around 3000.4000 and hotels, lodgings.
A.When you considerd the university as foundation university the number of students will be fewer? Won’t you have a problem with you budget and your income?
B. No, 15000 people will visit this university each year in order to see aquarium, zoo. 6000 or 7000 Turkish people will learn Turkish(included ministries, civil rservants, member from private legal entities). Yearly, 2500-3000 foreign people will learn in this language center. Congress Culture Center will host national and international conferences at least one time everyweek. From the radio and TV station by way of Internet and Tv, 24 hours will broadcast lively. I haven’t mentioned about the number of students and activities at the institutions yet. It is abvious that the university won’t have trouble.
As a short, it is project to contribute our country’s culture policy and langauge functioning by way of language centers in foreign countries and studies towards primary, secondary and high schools.