Russia deports 13 Turkish university students

The Vatan daily reported on Thursday that the university sent the students a written statement declaring that their visas were canceled and they were expelled from the university. The students were deported following the decision.

Speaking to the Vatan daily, one of the deported students, Serdem Karaboga, said: “The university had been exerting pressure on us to leave the school. Later on, the Ministry [of Education] released a statement saying that they were going to protect Turkish students. The university expelled us two days ago without giving any reason. Our student visas were canceled. We were given exit visas. We could not complete our degrees.”

Karaboga claimed that he was deeply depressed after being deported, adding: “I promised my family that I was going to bring them my diploma. However, the showdown between [Turkey and Russia] burst our bubbles. Turkish students have been exposed to all kinds of humiliation and disrespect here. We were not even able to go to the university itself due to the reactions [from Russian students]. My efforts have gone down the drain. We are depressed.”

Stating that they were studying under difficult financial conditions, Karaboga said: “Most [of the Turkish students] here are working and studying. I had been working in minus 20 degree Celsius conditions for 240 rubles (TL 10) per day.”

Turkey’s ambassador to the Russian Federation, Orhan Gazigil, stated that the deportation act is unlawful, adding that several Russian universities are imposing these kinds of sanctions arbitrarily. “The [Russian] Ministry [of Education] had stated last week that it was going to protect Turkish students. However, the universities do not take the statements seriously. We are working to find a solution,” the Vatan daily quoted him as saying on Thursday.