China's growing global engagement requires promoting a deeper understanding of Chinese culture and contemporary China all over the world. As cultural and business ties between China and Turkey become more important, there is an increasing need to provide more opportunities to learn the Chinese language and introduce Chinese culture, history, economy, politics, and foreign policy to the academic community as well as the general public in Turkey. Both Turkey and China, having very distinguished cultural heritages, attach great importance to education.
Against this backdrop, METU strongly supported the establishment of the Confucius Institute as the first of its kind in Turkey. The Confucius Institute aims to promote Chinese language learning, the teaching of Chinese, and the understanding of the Chinese culture in Turkey. The institute offers general Chinese and business Chinese language courses to both METU students and the public. The business Chinese courses offered at the Institute promote a deeper understanding of China's business climate, and helps students overcome linguistic, geographical and cultural barriers, enabling them to achieve a higher communicative competence in business contexts. The Institute organizes lectures, seminars, and workshops on Chinese culture and society. It also puts forth efforts to facilitate research on both Chinese culture and enhance the relationship between Turkey and China.
In this context, through an effort to promote international education, the Confucius Institute at METU is not only a building with classrooms but a bridge linking Turkey and China, and providing an opportunity to enhance mutual understanding of our two languages and cultures. The Confucius Institute is introducing Chinese culture, history, economy, politics and foreign policy to Turkey's academic community as well as to experts from other professions. With the goal of cultivating new collaborations among Chinese and Turkish academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, and businesses. Furthermore, collaboration can also include the engagement of industrial partners to explore issues in technology development and transfer. METU's Technopark, the biggest and the most developed of its kind in Turkey, is a great asset in this endeavor.
METU is willing to assume a special responsibility in preparing our students for a lifetime engagement with China and to support research that would advance our understanding of Chinese-Turkish relations. In this respect, METU has the capacity and administrative infrastructure to transfer the expertise on Chinese affairs that will spill over gradually to other Turkish and foreign universities.
Most importantly, our partnership and future work of the Confucius Institute will help enhance mutual understanding between the peoples of Turkey and China. We expect the Confucius Institute contributes significantly to this end.