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Ukrainian volunteer teaches Turkish to compatriots



Tanya Doygun arrived in the southern Turkish province of Mersin five years ago. Nowadays, she has more compatriots in the province, due to the aggravating Russia-Ukraine conflict. Doygun decided to help them the one way she knew how: by teaching the Turkish language and culture.

Some 30 people who took shelter in Mersin after fleeing the conflict, almost exclusively women, attend her classes in the province’s Mezitli district.

“We have to learn Turkish to adapt here better, at least a few words,” Doygun told Demirören News Agency (DHA) on the sidelines of her class on Sunday. “Along with language courses, I explain the hospitality and charity of Turkish people. It has been one month since we started and I have 30 students. We organize classes twice a week and we have seen huge interest,” she said. Outside the classroom, Doygun guides her students and they come together to practice Turkish, for instance, shopping together in marketplaces.

Maria Stassiuk, who fled Kyiv and settled in Mersin two months ago, said she attends the classes, so she can “make Turkish friends.” “I learned how to greet people, learned how to bargain while shopping. I am grateful to our teacher,” she said. Valery Benko, a 63-year-old Ukrainian national hailing from Kharkiv, said he is no stranger to Turkey because he visited a couple of times in the past but he does not speak Turkish. “I want to meet more Turkish people. I know how warm they are and want to communicate with them better,” he said.

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Source: Daily Sabah


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