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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Letters to the Editor: AGAST calls on Gambians to beware of deceitful agents

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Dear Editor,

The Association of Gambian Students in Turkey (AGAST) wishes to draw the attention of the Gambian public to the presence of persons who disguise themselves as good Samaritans by claiming to be providers of opportunities/incentives such as scholarships that would enable prospective students from the country  to  pursue higher education in Turkey.

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Most of these ‘agents’ would go about assuring Gambians that they can get them Turkish visas and university admission certificates for D100,000. 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 these students face.

By confidently saying these enticing words, many students fall into their traps. What they tell these students and what actually is in  Turkey are poles apart. There are many gaslighted victims in Turkey due to these insensitive agents. 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 susceptible 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.”

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 US$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 US$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.”

AGAST, a 250-member association, once again stresses  that most of these agents are deceitful and do not care about the consequences you encounter when they deceive you. Beware, be safe!

Name: Masanneh Fatty

AGAST, Istanbul

Tel: +905528689200

[email protected]

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