A shepherd from the eastern province of Tunceli, who entered the country’s prominent high school, Robert Lycee, in 2016 with a full scholarship, is now preparing to get admission to the Tilburg University in the Netherlands for higher education.
“Officials at the Tilburg University accepted my application. So now I am making preparations while living in the mountains and grazing sheep,” Mahir Gündoğdu told Demirören News Agency on June 6.
Spending days in a tent at Çobanyıldızı Upland in the Pülümür district, Gündoğdu said: “We do not have a house. We stay here in a tent where there is no internet. All I do is read books.”
When asked how his days pass at the upland, he noted, “During the daytime, I take sheep for grazing for five hours. Then I go back to the tent to help my parents make bryndza [cheese made from 100 percent sheep’s milk]. In my spare time, I read books for self-improvement.”
Güzel Gündoğdu, Mahir’s father, expressed his pride for his son.
Expressing his pride for his son, Güzel Gündoğdu said, “He may be studying at Robert Lycee but he has always been down to earth. He helps us with everything. He is milking the cows, grazing the sheep and making cheese with us.”
Mahir Gündoğdu is spending nine months in Istanbul for his education at Robert Lycee and three months in Tunceli to stay near his parents and help them.
Güzel Gündoğdu also wants people to make donations or form scholarships for his son because it takes around 12,000 euros annually to study at the Tilburg University’s International Economics Faculty.
While revealing his dream of returning to Turkey after graduating from the Tilburg University to help other passionate students, Mahir Gündoğdu said: “There are a lot of talented and hardworking children living here in the mountains. I want to come back and help them.”
Located in Tilburg in the southern part of the Netherlands, the Tilburg University is a public research university specializing in the social and behavioral sciences, economics, law, business sciences, theology and humanities.
Mahir Gündoğdu became famous in 2016 after catching the attention of local media for qualifying for Robert Lycee High School.
In an interview he made with daily Hürriyet on July 26, 2017, Mahir Gündoğdu highlighted how he was afraid to go to Istanbul, saying, “I pray that a big place such as Istanbul will not ruin me.”
Before attending Robert Lycee, he wanted to be an engineer. But now, he wants to be an economist.
Hurriyet Daily News