“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” ― Nelson Mandela

Certainly, there are so many scholarship hunters who are looking for the scholarship as a start to change destiny. I was not the person with a high passion to find the scholarship to pursue education. I already had a degree in International Relations and worked in five-star airlines company in the world which is also a government-owned corporation with a good career progress. I had no worry about my future but before the age of 30, life is an adventure. I always believe that getting out from the comfort zone is the only way to reach success. The world is always moving forward and the competition is getting higher. It is very important to have a high qualification as the tool to run with the world.

It is easy for some people with good financial support to have a better education. In the other side, there are also a lot of people who have competencies but do not have the good financial condition to support their dreams. Getting a scholarship is the only way.

The USA, UK or Australia might still become the targets of many scholarship hunters. Even though I finally got a full scholarship to study at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom, I started my life abroad in Turkey with a scholarship from the Turkish government, Turkiye Burslari. So Turkey, with all of its potential could be another choice.

Why Turkey?


A sunset picture in front of Maiden Tower with Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace in Istanbul as the background

The reasons why I chose Turkey:

1. Many of universities in Turkey are listed as top 700 best universities in the world

2. As a Moslem, doing worship in Turkey is not difficult. Although Turkey is a secular country, most of the people are embracing Islam

3. Turkey is very unique, located between two continents. The Europe sensation with Asia touch definitely is an unforgettable experience. Under the Ottoman Empire, Turkey once became the major superpower in Europe

4. The high economic development of Turkey makes it become more attractive, the powerful country with many opportunities

5. I got many rejections from other scholarships :-))

Among many scholarships, probably Turkiye Burslari has the most interesting programmes, including Turkish Language Course which is required before starting the study. It is fully funded by the Turkish government. The fund is taken from education department that is allocated specially for international students. The purpose is to strengthen the relationship between Turkey and the applicant countries.

Why Turkiye Burslari Scholarship?


Source: http://turkiyeburslari.gov.tr

1. This scholarship is given to applicant from any level; Undergraduate, Master and PhD. There are also a Summer Course and Research Program, available for a couple of months

Usually, the registration for undergraduate, master, and PhD. is opened at the beginning of March and closed at the end of March each year. The registration for some of the undergraduate study programs is also opened and closed in May.

2. The selection process is relatively easy. TOEFL/ IELTS score is not necessary for the course which is offered in the Turkish language. There are two stages in the selection process; administrative selection and interview

3. Full scholarship, including flight ticket from home country to Turkey and back to the home country. It also covers accommodation which allows the awardees to stay at the government dormitories, full tuition fees and language preparation course, monthly living allowance and medical insurance

Administrative Selection


(Check the official website above and the requirements to apply for the scholarship)

The application is only accepted through the official website. For undergraduate applicants, just prepare high school certificate, complete with national examination transcript. For master and PhD. applicants, degree certificate with transcript are essential. When I was applying for the master program, the high school certificate and transcript were also requested. Other documents, such as passport and achievement certificates can be shown to the interviewers after passing the administrative selection.

TOEFL/ IELTS certificate is needed if applying to universities which use English as curriculum language. GRE/GMAT is also needed for master/ PhD. certain programs.

The applicants have to fulfil some questions which need an explanation regarding motivation, future plan, reasons to choose study program and for master or PhD applicants, there is also a question about the relation of study program choice with the previous degree.

The committees will look for best candidates but there is no need to worry about the quota. As long as the applicants have the good record and good answers in the online application, they will call for an interview. For undergraduate applicants, it is important to have a high school certificate with the overall score of 7 and for master/ PhD applicants, the GPA should be 3.0 or above. No matter if it is the public or private institution, they will review it based on individual performance. So, do not worry if any of you are graduated from unpopular universities.

Interview Selection

This stage proves that 75 per cent of the chance to get the scholarship is already in hand. The other 25 per cent is interview performance. Usually, the announcement for candidates who pass the administrative selection is sent by email one month after the registration closed. When I applied, the announcement was sent on 22nd April 2014, followed by an invitation for the interview, held on 27th April 2014.



The interview is held in the Turkish Embassy with Turkish interviewers who come directly from Turkey. If there are not many applicants from a certain country, the interview will be held via phone call or skype. I was interviewed by two interviewers at the Turkish Embassy in Jakarta. It was fully in English.

Interviewers will check the documents attached in registration with the hard copies that are brought during the interview. The key to performing well is preparing answers to the questions that have been asked when registering online. The answer for basic question tags, 4W1H (What, Who, When, Why, and How) can be prepared before the interview to complete the performance. Other than that, just relax, be confident and consider the interviewers are friends who will be able to listen to individual stories.

Result Announcement

The announcement for the final result will be in one until two months after the interview. But in my case, I got the result announcement on 26th July 2014.


I did not finish my master degree in Turkey, as I realised that living and studying in Turkey is not really my passion. After living in Turkey for 1,5 years, I decided to resign from the scholarship and pursued my dream since I was a child, living in the UK. I received the full scholarship from the Indonesian government and started my master degree program in International Business at the University of Leeds in September 2016.


Istanbul University, Avcilar Campus

I finished my Turkish Language Program and awarded as the best international student with the highest score in the Turkish Language exam. However, this new language skill was not enough to finish my degree there.


A picture with ‘Hoca’ (teachers/ lecturers) when I received the certificate from Istanbul University

In Turkey, I reached the highest point of my life as well as the lowest when I finally had to move out of the country but I never regret my decision to leave my career in Indonesia, as I understand that everything happens for a reason. This was only the beginning of my journey.

So, if you are sure that Turkey is the right place to start your adventure out of your home countries, Turkiye Burslari is probably the best way to open the gate.

461 thoughts on “Turkiye Burslari, The Turkish Government Scholarship: A beginning

  1. Hello Alhaji Jalloh, am also a Sierra Leonean students who applied for scholarships but till now, I have not received any notification.
    Zakki have you got news from anyone in West Africa who has received his interview timing.


  2. Hello Zakki, any info for candidates in West Africa. Have you heard of anyone from West Africa who has been called for interviews..


  3. Hello Zakki so what is going on now, have you not yet received any information’s from some one in West Africa that has received email for his or her scholarship interview scheduled? Or have you not yet received any information from the Turkish Scholarship concerning the interview for the West Africa Applicant candidates?


  4. Hello Zaki,
    Any idea what it means when I check my application status, it says “pending review”.
    Anything to worry about?


  5. Hello Zaki
    I opened my application and noticed that my application status says”pending review”. Any idea what that means? Am from Sierra Leone


  6. Hello Zaki
    I opened my application and noticed that the application status says “pending review”. Any idea what that means? Am from Sierra Leone


    • Hello Anonymous
      I too I’m from Sierra Leone, I stay in Lungi. I just want to ask if you have receive email now about the interview schedule? As for me I only see Application pending review and Application number when I check my application status.


      • Hello Alhaji
        What is your exact application number, is it 230/264?
        Maybe we can all share numbers and notify ourselves once interview starts.
        Please note that, all applicants that got the scholarship in 2015 from Sierra Leone did not go through interview.
        Maybe this year could be the same.
        However let hope and pray that Allah makes it possible for us. Mashallah..


    • Hello Anonymous, well I apply for two of my brothers including me, my two brothers their application number are 000230 and the other his number 000248, my is 000264. Exactly so the 2015 applicants they don’t undergo interview they just call them for interview, may be we will have the same luck Mashallah. What about you what is your application number? Try to call me on these number +23288543528/ 088543528.


  7. Hello Zaki
    I open my application and I notice that my application status says ” Pending Review”, Application number 16SL000230, Application Level ” Bachelor’s Degree”. What that mean Zaki? I’m from Sierra Leone West Africa.


  8. Hi Zaki
    I open my application and I noticed that the application status says ” pending review” , with application number indicated on it, Application Level ” Bachelor’s Degree” Application date 25-03-2016


  9. Hello Zakkie
    I’m from Sierra Leone, few days back I check my application status I see Application pending review, Application number: 16SL000264, Application Level- Bachelor’s Degree, Application Date 25-03-2016.
    What that information mean Zakkie? I need you help


  10. Hey Zakki! Just wondering…

    Had my interview earlier this month. In the middle of it, I was asked whether I’d be willing to consider studying a course I’d not applied for — seeing as my interviewers felt I’d suit something else.

    Does this mean there’s hope? Frankly, I’m a tad puzzled. If it helps, my interview questions were nothing like the ones listed here. Had a discussion about the importance of history and cultures instead. My application was hardly mentioned! Feels like I messed things up.


    • Well you have some choices, probably they will not put you in your first choice. So, I think if they asked you that, they would place you in one of your choices that you wrote in your application. Don’t worry. :-))


  11. Hi ! I have a question
    Suppose the scholarship committee selects me for a particular university. Is it possible the university could still reject me even after recommended by scholarship committee? If yes then what could be the reasons?


    • As far as I know, the university will accept you if the committee declare that you are eligible for the scholarship. They will do a coordination regarding university passing grade, student quota, etc. :-))


    • Not really. But most of the applicants who went for the interview got the scholarship. If the interview goes well, they will get their first choice. If they can’t satisfy the interviewers or some issues happen, they still get the scholarship for one of the universities that they have chosen in their application. :-))

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Since you have written the chances to win the scholarship if you have been invited to interview are 75%, I thought the people invited for interview would be around 7-8 thousand? On what basis do you say that?


  13. Hi Zakki, I am still wondering about the scholarship, no one from Nigeria has receive mail or phone call from them. But how long would it take them for sending the interview e-mail I mean the deadline


    • I understand interview started in Nigeria around June 13-16.Was told there was around 10-15 students for UG programs and about 25 students for masters and PhD programs.


    • Was told interview started in Nigeria around June 13to 16.From information gathered, 10-15 applicants were interview for UG programs and about 25 students for masters and PhD programs.


      • So does it mean they have finished with the interview at all? And we did not receive any mail up to now




  15. Hi my fellow applicants I am from Liberia West Africa,
    And will like to know about the calling process of the interview, is it conducted base on the number of the applicants in accordance or randomly?


  16. Hello Zakki,
    I just want to ask if up till now u haven’t yet got any information for the starting of the interview in one or two of the West African countries. I’m still worried we are now started a new month July up till now some of us our applications status still pending review.


  17. Hello Zakki
    now i know you’ve been asked these question hundred time but please i really need your help .
    I’m going to apply for undergraduate program next year and i’m really counting on this .
    I graduate high school 1 year ago and really can’t do anything about the diploma (not that my overall score is that low , it meets the minimum score set for engineering and it’s about 85% but the thing is i studied high school in Public Exemplary school which are some schools in my country Iran that like universities need entrance exams and are kind of hard to get highest or even good grades in them and i feel like this won’t be considered in reviewing my application and it will have negative effect for and reduce my chances against my opponents in Iran )

    now whit all that i was wondering is there any alternative criteria that may help me get ahead of others . i mean would getting a good TOEFL or GRE score help an undergraduate applicant because then i can focus all my energy in providing them(or Turkish language test TÖMER). or do you have any other suggestion that will grantee or just increase chances of someone getting the scholarship (please can you explain them by some examples)
    i know it’s a long comment but please please please help me i’m desperate
    thank you so so much for helping me
    (if you also email me your response that would be really good thanks again)


    • The requirements for Turkish scholarship are not difficult. If you want to study the program in English, you should provide IELTS or TOEFL, if you want to study in Turkish, you will have Turkish preparation class before entering your program. Just try and do your best. :-))


  18. hello Zaky , My application status saying ”Degerlendirme Bekiliyor” …. what is going on … please explain me


  19. my application status is ” Degerlendirme Bekiliyor” from being ”Review status”
    please expain me .. thanks Zaky


  20. Hello guys, what do you think about latest problems and Turkish army attempt for coup, do these issues effect the process of scholarship?


  21. Hello zakki, what do you hear now about the released of the interview results? July month is ending now still we having yet get any information from no body. I contacted our Turkish consulate here I get no reply from them


  22. Hello zakki, what is the latest news now for the release of the result? Uptill now we haven’t yet received any information from no body.


    • Thanks for all who ask about the reason why I left Turkey. Many reasons, personal, academic, including security issue. And I got new scholarship from my government to study in the UK. So I will continue my study in University of Leeds, intake this September 2016.

      Well, good luck for you all my brothers and sisters from all around the world, who want to pursue education in Turkey. Hope it would be the best, and you could reach your dream. :-))


      • Wow! Congratulations Zakki! When you resigned, did they give you a fly-back ticket? Or maybe you had to buy yourself?


      • No, I bought ticket by my self. They only provide ticket when you first come to Turkey, and after you graduate. Thank you so much brother. :-))


  23. HI Zakki, I am Aaron from Liberia, West Africa. I checked my application and saw the following. What is the meaning of this? Has the selection process finish?

    Application Status Degerlendirme Bekliyor
    Application Number 16LR000147
    Application Level Bachelor’s Degree
    Application Date 21.3.2016
    Explanation ————


  24. Hi Zakki, I am Aaron from Liberia, West Africa. I checked my application and the following. What is the meaning of this? Has the selection process finish?

    Application Status Degerlendirme Bekliyor
    Application Number 16LR000147
    Application Level Bachelor’s Degree
    Application Date 21.3.2016
    Explanation –


  25. The question is a bit stupid but how is the things about the meals:

    Due the short time you had in Turkey, do we have to pay for the food in the first year? Or the dormitories serve it for free?

    Thank you in advance 🙂


    • The dormitory serves food, mostly for breakfast and dinner. But don’t hope too much, because it’s just a standard Turkish food. For me, sometimes it didn’t fit my appetite, hehehehe :-))


  26. Hello Zakki,
    I am Tom Musa Koker from Sierra Leone, West Africa. I applied for the Turkey burslari scholarship in March and on to this time I haven’t received anything. Can you please tell me what’s going on? I also applied for some of my friend but we haven’t received anything. If we are not accepted, at least we should receive a regret email you know. And September is the stating of a new academic year and we are kind of confused without anything in our mails.


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