ANKARA:11May: Turkey has opened doors for graduate and post graduate scholarships for Pakistani students to get education in Turkish universities and hopes that they can become an important bridge for promoting its relations with Pakistan even furtherat people to people level. “The 5000 scholarships are being offered under a well- thought out plan put in place for Asia- Pacific countries by Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) under which all expenses like tickets, tuition fees and boarding are paid by the Turkish government,” YTB President Professor Kudret Bulbul told a group of visiting journalists on Tuesday while detailing salient features of the programme. Responding to a query he said that at least 6,500 Pakistani students have applied for Turkish scholarships. Meanwhile it will not be out of place to mention here that until now majority of Pakistani students had been heading for Western universities. He also said that the students applying for graduate and post graduate and even PhD scholarships, should not be Turkish nationals and they will have to return to their countries on completion of their study. The students can apply on line for the highly competitive scholarships as this year 100,000 students from at least 180 countries had applied to get education in various subjects like medical engineering and other social sciences. “When they (students) will go back they will be a bridge and envoys for Turkey for forging relations with their respective countries in Asia and Pacific region, he added. He said that YTB is concentrating on empowerment of diasporas’ affairs, integrate historical and cultural relations and to improve economic and political relations through connecting people to people and intellectual level with countries across the globe. He also said that Turkey was ready to work with the universities in concerned countries and education departments for supporting their projects and these scholarships were only one part of the plan. He added that he was mulling over to organize a meeting of the think tanks in Asia- Pacific, African and Middle Eastern countries to have interaction on issues of mutual concern. When questioned by Syrian nationals on the applicants for these scholarships, he said that Turkey had allocated 100 seats as a special case for them in 2014 but their number could increase. It is worth mentioning that as a result of an on-going conflict in Syria, Turkey has to welcome three million Syrian refugees who were being kept in Eastern Turkey bordering Syria. “The refugee crisis has put an immense financial burden on Turkish resources and it needed $10 billion for the upkeep of this huge number of Syrian refugees so far. The refugees streamed into Turkey in 2011 to have shelter in peaceful environs,” he said. Meanwhile World Humanitarian Summit is scheduled to be held in Istanbul from May 23-24 which would spotlight Syrian refugee crisis and its implications for the region and the world, he concluded.The news.