Turkish Congressman's nephew enrolls at Southern University


Southern University's effort to build a student exchange program with the country of Turkey got a big boost this week when a Turkish Congressman brought his nephew to enroll on the Baton Rouge campus.


Dr. Ibrahim Korkmaz was all smiles when his nephew Abdurrahman Demir signed on as a graduate student in the school of Urban Forestry. Demir received an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering in Turkey.


Demir, who is spending his first days in the United States, said he is happy to be at Southern and that he had heard good things about the school from his uncle.


Korkmaz, a congressman representing the "Duzce Justice & Development Parti," had worked with Southern officials over the past couple years in his former role as an education official in Turkey.


Demir said he is enrolling in Urban Forestry because he wants to do more work in the area of sustainable energy sources. "And, I want to learn to speak better English," he said.


Dr. Barbara Carpenter, dean of the International Education, said the Congressman's action speaks volumes about the work being done to increase the school's effort to build international relations.


"It takes a lot of cultivation and the work is methodical when dealing with countries to establish educational agreements," Carpenter said. "We are building relations all over the world."