The Association of Gambian Students in Turkey (AGAST) has raised alarm about certain individuals who are claiming to be providers of opportunities or incentives such as scholarships that would enable prospective students from the country to pursue higher education in Turkey.
Most of these ‘agents’ would go about assuring Gambians that they can get them Turkish visas and university admission certificates for D100,000 (hundred GMD), the association said in a statement shared with The Standard.
“They would further seduce them by telling them that this amount covers their lodging and part of their university fees, which would turn out to be blatant lies”, the association said.
The President of AGAST Muhammed Trawally added: “By confidently enticing them with these sweet words many students fall into their traps. What they tell these students and what actually is on the ground in Turkey are poles apart. There are many victims of these scammers in Turkey. They apply to some of the poorest and lowest-scoring universities on the outskirts of Ankara and Istanbul; and when these students come here, they get disenchanted. As a result, some of them work for 10 hours a day to eke a living without a work permit. Clearly, a foreigner without a work permit is very vulnerable to exploitation by their employers. Frankly, it is not easy to get a job in Turkey to pay for house and utility bills, let alone tuition fees.”
He added that recently, a Turk and a Nigerian were in The Gambia claiming that they offer 90% of scholarships for prospective students to go and study in Turkey. “Please, beware of these kinds of people. While much cannot be written about them, we found out that they are charging Gambians $700 for the entrance examination (YOS) intended for foreign students who wish to study at Turkish universities, whereas this exam fee is just pegged at $50 in Turkey. The sole intention of these people is to exploit our brothers and sisters and consequently leave them to wander alone in the land of disillusionment.
“As an association, we consider it our responsibility to facilitate the study of Gambian students in Turkey. We are equally concerned about every Gambian student in Turkey. As such, we cannot sit idly by and watch our brothers and sisters in disheartening situations. It is in the same spirit that we deem it necessary to inform Gambians that announcements/advertisements made on some social media platforms on the subject of ‘Scholarship to study in Turkey’ are mostly fraudulent, and therefore people must be mindful of them,” Muhammed Trawally stated.