Volume 13, Number 13
12 December

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Nasuh Mahruki: A Leader Since His Years at Bilkent

Nasuh Mahruki, the founder of AKUT (Arama Kurtarma Derneği / Search and Rescue Organization), and a 1992 graduate of Bilkent's management department, visited Bilkent to motivate Bilkent students about leadership at a conference organized by Mühendislik Topluluğu. As a student at Bilkent, Nasuh joined DOST (Mountaineering and Nature Sports Club), and served as the president of the club for three years. After graduation he climbed several mountains including K2, an 8611-meter mountain in Asia, the summit of which only a few climbers have succeeded in reaching due to the perils involved in the climb. Bilkent News interviewed Nasuh Mahruki about his career.

Bilkent News: What prompted you to form AKUT?
Nasuh Mahruki: After a climbing accident in 1994, many climbers worked on the rescue team formed as a response to that accident. After this accident I, and about ten other climbers, had a meeting and decided to formally organize climbers for such emergencies in the future.

Bilkent News: Have you ever hesitated when faced with the responsibility of leading AKUT, which is charged with great responsibilities during rescue operations?
Nasuh Mahruki: I have always had great responsibilities. My professional sports career also improved my leadership skills and prepared me for great responsibilities and then AKUT occurred. Of course it is very different! AKUT has huge responsibilities and the work we do is arduous and dangerous but the quality of the people in AKUT is very high. Therefore, we lead and work together and it becomes easier.

Bilkent News: How have you benefited from your education at Bilkent?
Nasuh Mahruki: Actually, my academic education is always reflected in my life. Leading AKUT is completely based on my academic education and the leadership skills that I learned at Bilkent University. Consequently, I use these skills in volunteer activities as well as in the seminars that I give to companies to motivate them on the subject of leadership.

Bilkent News: What have you gained from leading DOST?
Nasuh Mahruki: My whole life changed because of DOST. I think attending Bilkent University and moving to Ankara were some of the best choices I made in my life because I was not aware of the opportunities and passion inherent in nature and the outdoors until I attended university. Ankara is a very cultural city and when I was studying, the people who were occupied with climbing and outdoor sports had diverse interests. All of them were interested in theatre, art and philosophy. They were both spending time participating in outdoor activities and were also attaching great importance to philosophy and culture. As a result of these experiences, Ankara and Bilkent University helped shape my life. With the help of outdoor sports, I realized the extent of my capabilities when working with people. I had a chance to experience how to lead people and how to form an administration board. Actually, Bilkent University taught me lessons in life, not just academics.

Bilkent News: What advice can you give to Bilkent students who want to follow their dreams and be the leaders of the future?
Nasuh Mahruki: I think the most important advice I can give is to know yourself. Students should try to learn what their skills and abilities are and to improve them. They should stay focused on their goals while also following current events and technology. Finally, students, and all people, have to work together by uniting their powers to reach their realistic targets.

Yeşim Şağban (IE/III)
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