A British Cap and Gown for Antalya?

Posted on 14 February 2011

Date: 08/08/2008
A British Cap and Gown for Antalya?

World-renowned for its un equalled coastlines, hand in hand with natural beaches with ‘blue flags,’ ancient graves and historical artefacts dating back to Hellenistic times, Antalya, a city on the ‘Turkish Riviera,’ now prepares to host two private universities, one by AKEV and the other by the British Consulate

Antalya, which currently boasts only one university, is set to gain two important new post-secondary institutions. In addition to the city’s current Akdeniz University, plans are underway to build a private university, set to be finished in 2010 at the latest. The Antalya Chamber of Commerce and Industry has also started negotiations with the British Consulate for the city to host a proposed new British university.

The first private university in the Mediterranean region, Antalya University is to be constructed on an area of 110,000 square meters in the city’s Kadriye district, starting in August. Financed by the Antalya Culture and Education Foundation, or AKEV, the new university will include three faculties, four occupational high schools and a large campus area.

The statement also noted that Turkey‘s economy should be structured in such a way as to depend on many sectors instead of a few in order for the country to cultivate an international reputation. Antalya, famous for its tourism and agricultural activities, certainly hopes to increase its financial strength with these new university investments.

Upon learning of the plans, the British Ambassador to Ankara Nick Baird is to found a British university in Turkey, Kemal Özgen, chairman of the Antalya Chamber of Commerce and Industry, wrote a letter to the ambassador saying that Antalya, the center of the country’s tourism and agriculture, would be the most suitable city to host a British university.

“We closely watch your attempts to strengthen the links between England and Turkey with high interest and appreciation,” wrote Özgen in his letter to the ambassador. “I would like to state that our chamber supports the attempts to construct a private university in Antalya. Having a sound amount of stationary foreign population, Antalya is preferred by both by the English people as well as other European citizens. We expect the city to attract around 9 million tourists this year.”

Direct flights initiated between London and Antalya by British Airways have been an important starting point for cooperation between the two countries in many fields, which will be spurred by the construction of a new British university, Özgen added

30 July 30, 2008 Turkish Daily News (Abridged)

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