Volume 15, Number 14
December 30, 2008

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Visually Impaired Room Opening A Success

As mentioned in last week's paper, there was an opening of a new room for visually impaired students located in the basement of the Main Campus Library. The opening was a great success, with BILMED and the Alumni center doing a remarkable job. Sinan Öncel is the BILMED Alumni president. This room was their first project, and Öncel is positive its success will be a motivating factor for more projects in the future.
Yusuf Dumlupınar, an instructor in İnönü University's Fine Arts Department and a Bilkent graduate from the Faculty of Music and Performing Arts, who also happens to be visually impaired, had the honor of cutting the red ribbon. Erdal Karakoç, a student at Marmara University, who is visually impaired as well, is a part of the Brail Technic Company, which distributes specially programmed computers. As well as being a student, he provides training on how to use these computers and business development software. Thanks to Karakoç, Bilkent was able to obtain three computers.

Two are regular computers with a special screen reader program that allows the computer to "talk" to the user. Luckily, Karakoç demonstrated to me how it works. For instance, let's say I want to save a file. With the keyboard, I hit the "alt" and the "arrow" keys. When I pressed "alt," the computer said it out loud, and as I went to "save" my file, the program says out loud what all the keys being pressed are before the "save" key is hit so users know exactly what they are doing. The program can "speak" ten different languages, Turkish being one of them. For Bilkent, however, it is adjusted for English.

The third computer is a reading machine that looks similar to a scanner. Users can put any reading material on it, and the machine "reads" it out loud. As well, a computer screen is connected which shows the reading material in a larger font size for those with partial sight.

Currently, there are five visually impaired students enrolled at Bilkent, who are already very successful. The hope is that these new computers will help them gain
even further success.

İrem Esen (MAN/II)

Hosts Prof. Oktay Sinanoğlu During Conference

Last Wednesday was a big opportunity for Bilkent students to learn from an experienced man, Prof. Oktay Sinanoğlu, hosted by the Culture and Communication Community (Kültür ve İletişim Topluluğu-KİT) addressed a conference on "Politics in Turkey through the Scientists Eye." Prof. Sinanoglu discussed the relationship between the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey by pointing out that "The Turkish Republic is a continuation of the Ottoman Empire." He absolutely refused to accept the idea that there were big differences and conflicts between the two, and pointed out that Atatürk was the last Ottoman.

On politics in general, he stated that, "If there are three people residing in the same place, politics comes into play, regardless of the issue," stressing the need for three people to make this happen.

Prof. Sinanoğlu also expressed his concern about the current state of politics and the economy in Turkey, although he is confident about the new generation thanks to the education they are receiving. "You are the future; therefore you must do something so everybody can benefit - your family, city, country, and the world, taking the whole of humanity into consideration."

Mor ve Ötesi Front Man Visits Bilkent

harun tekin

Mor ve Ötesi has developed an international reputation and following, thanks in part to their participation in the Eurovision competition. Fans of the band, casual listeners and those merely interested in what lead singer, Harun Tekin, would have to say, attended his talk last week, presented by the Operational Research Club. The turn out was fantastic, which spoke not only to the popularity of the band, but of the interest Tekin generates for his views. He spoke on a number of topics, including culture, art, politics, the education system and more, presenting himself as not just an artist, but as a multi-dimensional thinker. Of course, he discussed the band's Eurovision experiences, and about the importance of getting to know and understand other cultures, which the competition allowed him to do. To wrap up, he took time to answer questions from an eager audience

Samet Güney (IE/I)
Melodi Türkili (IE/I)

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The Human Core of Cihat Aral Exhibition

The Main Campus Library Art Gallery is currently hosting an exhibition of Cihat Aral's latest works. His unique, figurative compositions are brought to life through vivid colors, with each one symbolizing an ideology. According to Aral "This exhibition is the continuation of my previous works. I always go for different themes and in my paintings the center is human. When I take the human as the basis of my works, I capture the human by looking at the reality of the era we live in at that moment. This gives a lot of variety to the paintings because humans keep a lot of different things inside."

The themes focused on in this exhibit were "Trash Gatherer's," "Social Violence" and "And They Left their Flags and Went." Each one of them has a different symbolic structure. They all have a mythical side, something that comes from within the painter."The core of my paintings is made by the composition. Other elements that belong to the theme consist of stylistic order and the organization and relationship between color and style."

"When we say that the center is the human, that means the dramatic side of humans is always the side that I want to depict. "And They Left Their Flags and Went" shows the abandonment of the ideologies of humans. It is a symbolic narrative about the abandonment of the utopias that people have in their minds. The signs here are about leaving."

“"The Social Violence" shows the type of violence that people have faced from the beginning of human kind. I witnessed this a lot in the era that I lived in."

In the "Trash Gatherer's," the focus is on people forced to immigrate to big cities and form a life style of their own. The paintings show us these alienated people and their search for identity.

Talking with Cihat Aral was very enlightening as he showed me into the world of the symbolic structure of his paintings, illustrating how painters are the witnesses of social history and the bearers of the future.

Alev Değim (COMD/IV)

A Reminder on Next Week’s Class Meeting Schedules

Next week is the last week of class meetings of the Fall 2008 semester according to the Academic Calendar. Besides being only a three-day week, the schedule of class meetings follows an irregular pattern:

Monday, January 5
Regular Wednesday classes will meet.
Tuesday, January 6
Regular Thursday classes will meet.
Wednesday, January 7
Regular Friday classes will meet.

This schedule allows exactly 14 days of meetings in the semester for any day of the week.


5 February 2009 / Thursday
Announcement of COPE (Stage 2) Results
5-8 February 2009 / Thursday - Sunday
Spring Semester Course Registrations
9 February 2009 - Monday
Classes Begin
25 February 2009 - Monday
Last Day for Dropping / Adding Courses
23 April 2009 - Thursday
National Holiday
4 May 2009 - Monday
Last Day to Withdraw from Courses
7-9 May 2009 Thursday - Saturday
Spring Festival
18 May 2009 - Monday
Last Day of Classes Follow Thursday Schedule of Classes
19 May 2009 - Tuesday
National Holiday
20 May 2009 - Wednesday
Beginning of Final Examinations
30 May 2009 - Saturday
Last Day of Final Examinations
2 June 2009 - Tuesday
Last Day for Submission of Course Grades http://www.bilkent.edu.tr/

Also in this issue:


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Please submit your letters to bilnews@bilkent.edu.tr
or to the Communications Unit, Engineering Building, room EG-23, ext. 1487.
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