The International University of Sarajevo (IUS) in Bosnia's capital is set to give a honorary doctorate to Turkey’s president during his visit on May 20.
Rector Ahmet Yıldırım told Anadolu Agency that they decided to give the title to Recep Tayyip Erdogan in recognition of his contributions to the university, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and international politics.
Yildirim said the honorary doctorate has been years in the making.
"We offered to give it to President Erdogan in 2016 but it didn’t fit in his itinerary," said Yildirim.
Yildirim said that the university was founded in 2004 by the Foundation for Sarajevo Development (SEDEF) at Erdogan's suggestion.
"The first president of independent Bosnia and Herzegovina, Alija Izetbegovic, asked Erdogan to look after for Bosnia. So as one of the first steps, the IUS was founded," said Yildirim.
“Since its founding, Erdogan has continuously supported our university. Even Erdogan agreeing to receive this honorary doctorate is a big boost for us. It’s a big honor for 14 year-old-IUS to bestow such a title on one of the most important leaders in the world.”
The IUS, with five faculties and 18 departments, currently has about 700 students from 56 countries.
The university serves as a bridge between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Turkey for young people to get to know the social and cultural values of each other's countries.
It also serves the convergence of social and revitalization of common values and culture and aims to contribute to Bosnia and Herzegovina's economic development.
IUS diplomas are recognized by Turkey’s Board of Higher Education (YOK) as well as European Union countries.
To date, 713 people have graduated from the university.