Fuad Mamedov: "We have developed an application program for Turkish citizens who want to learn Russian and work in the hospitality industry"
Russian-Turkish relations have been going through different stages. In recent history, they have changed dynamically. Despite the existing differences, an intensive political, economic, cultural, sports, and trade dialogue at all levels has been launched and maintained between the countries today.

As of 2020, Turkey is Russia's seventh largest trading partner. The total trade turnover between the countries amounted to $20 billion. At the same time, Turkey is the second largest (after Germany) market for Russian gas. The diversification of directions for joint projects of economic sectors is obvious — this includes the purchase of weapons, and joint projects in nuclear energy, construction and other areas.

The existing model of relations between Russia and Turkey also demonstrates that one of the most significant areas in urgent need of Russian-speaking specialists is, quite predictably, tourism. In recent decades, tourism has only increased its economic importance in the Turkish economy. It employs about two million people (510 thousand directly, another 1.5 million in related industries). The country ranks sixth in the world among popular tourist destinations. The Turkish direction is the most popular in Russia. And Russia is the absolute leader in the number of foreigners arrivals to Turkey: in 2021, Turkish statistics counted 4,694,422 visits by citizens of the Russian Federation. This is 120.5% more than in 2020, but 33.1% less than in the record 2019.
The share of Russians in the total foreign tourist flow to Turkey has grown markedly in recent years — from 15.57% before the pandemic to 19% in 2021 (almost every fifth tourist in Turkey turned out to be a Russian). Germany is ranked 2nd in terms of the number of tourists who arrived in Turkey in 2021, with a significant gap from Russia (3,085,215 visits, +175% by 2020 and –38.6% by 2019). Ukraine is ranked 3rd (2,060,008 trips, +106.5% by 2020 and +33.1% by 2019). Bulgaria and Iran are ranked 4th and 5th, with 1.4 and 1.15 million trips of citizens of these countries, respectively (both figures are almost two times less than before the pandemic). Thus, the number of Russian-speaking tourists visiting Turkey annually is more than 8 million people (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan).

These relations presuppose the presence of specialists who speak Russian to some extent in the Turkish professional community. The existing urgent need in the education market caused the opening and subsequent increase in the total number of Russian language courses. Considering the situation, in recent years, many public and private universities have begun to create departments and faculties of the Russian language, the number of which is growing every month. Currently, Russian is being studied in Turkey not only in many public and private universities, but also in numerous private programs.

Today, the tourism sector compensates for the shortage of Russian-speaking specialists with the aid of immigrants from CIS countries. These are mainly citizens of the countries with the Turkish language: Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan. Seasonal work is most popular among citizens of the post-Soviet space, including Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians. The following vacancies are popular in the hospitality industry: waiters, maids, cleaning, dancers, animators, guides, bartenders, massage therapists. Girls of European appearance are often required for the positions of hostesses in hotels and sales consultants in retail stores.
And despite the fact that the number and quality of Russian language courses is growing every year in Turkey, visiting Russia and learning the language among native speakers is the most effective way to start speaking it.
Our Institute of Management, Economics and Innovation has a modern campus in the west of Moscow. We have many years of successful experience in recruiting and training foreign students from 15 countries around the world. Our academic unit has no doubt that it is extremely necessary to offer a comprehensive educational product to Turkish students, which is why we have developed a special program. This educational and methodical complex is designed for 18–20 months of s tudy (depending on the intensity). During this time, students will actively study Russian language with the specifics of the industry for the first 6–8 months. At the same time, they will immerse themselves in the culture, history and legislation of Russia. Visiting a large number of museums, cultural and historical zones in Moscow and the Moscow region will help in this. The second part of the educational program implies a practical block. Students, continuing to study the theoretical part, will practice in hotels and health centers of the Moscow region and Krasnodar Krai (mainly in Sochi) as hostesses, bartenders, waiters — in all applied fields. This will help them to study the specifics and peculiarities of Russian tourists, their needs, preferences, wishes. In the future, this will help them find a special approach to Russian tourists in their native country, thereby increasing sales in their own hotels. After completing these courses, students will take final exams. Having successfully passed the exams, they will receive certificates of a specialist in the field of tourism with knowledge of the Russian language. With a very high probability, they will be in demand in the Turkish tourism industry.

To date, the program is being finalized. These courses can be attended by both Turkish citizens who will be able to find a decent and well-paid job with the help of our courses, as well as current employees of Turkish hotels. We also plan to involve the hotels in the program. In particular, the top management of hotels can send the most capable and talented workers to study according to the target program. Government agencies can also be involved in the implementation of the program. They can grant the opportunity to use preferential educational loans or provide subsidies and preferences to specific hotels, encourage them to finance the education of Turkish citizens. For working students, training can be divided into two stages — with a break for the tourist season in Turkey.

We have held many meetings and consultations in Turkey for educational centers, hotels and student recruitment agencies, having decided on partners in the Republic of Turkey itself. Therefore, we intend to implement the project in 2022.
Fuad Mamedov,
Vice-Rector for International Affairs of the Institute of Management, Economics and Innovation Fuad Mamedov, PhD of Economics, Associate Professor, Vice-Rector of the Institute of Management, Economics and Innovation. Graduated from the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, majoring in Finance and Credit. Also received a higher education at the Moscow State Open University with a degree in Economics and Mathematics. Defended PhD thesis in 2011. Continuous teaching experience since 2006. Has been working in the field of international education for the last 6 years. Since 2018, heads the international Department of Institute of Management, Economics and Innovation.