Volume 16, Number 10
December 1, 2009

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Revised Fall 2009 Academic Calendar and Student Council Election Calendar

The Fall 2009 academic calendar is revised due to the cancellation of all classes during the week of November 23, as well as the earlier cancellation of classes on Friday, October 30.

This revision moves the starting date for the final examinations two days forward and the last day for grade submissions is moved from January 12 to January 15, 2010. The Spring 2010 Calendar remains the same.

The changes are marked on the academic calendar in the University website at the following link: http://www.bilkent.edu.tr/bilkent/


11 December 2009- Friday
Last Day to Withdraw from Courses

29 December 2009- Tuesday
Last Day of Classes

30 December 2009- Wednesday
through 12 January 2010- Tuesday

Final Examinations

1 January 2010- Friday
New Year’s Day, No Exams

15 January 2010- Friday
Last Day for Submission of Course Grades

27- 28 January 2010,
Wednesday and Thursday
Spring Semester Course Registrations

The Student Council Elections for the 2009-2010 academic year is also revised due to the cancellation of all classes during the week of November 23 and will take place according to the Election Calendar (below).

December 1-2, 2009
Election of Faculty/School/Institute Representatives at respective Faculties, Schools or Institutes, and notification of the Student Affairs Office by Deans/Directors

Thursday, December 3, 2009 (3 p.m.)
Election of the University Student Council Executive Committee, the President, and the Board of Overseers in the General Assembly (Zeynep Köksal Hall, Student Union Building)

Writer Erendiz Atasü Shares Insights on Globalization and Language

erendiz atasü

Türkçe Topluluğu welcomed award-winning author Erendiz Atasü to Bilkent on November 18. Born in Ankara in 1947, Atasü is a retired Professor of Pharmacognosy at Ankara University with an interest in exploring and depicting the experiences of women in Turkey. With a feminist consciousness she has published many novels, short stories and collections of essays. Her most recognized book “The Other Side of the Mountain” was honored with the Orhan Kemal reward in 1960.

Atasü spoke at the FFB-06 on the impacts of globalization on language, emphasizing the importance of hearing the meaning behind spoken words. 

“Communication is based on both speaking and listening,” she said. “However, in today's world people mostly speak without listening. Our culture is tongue-tied. The proverb 'speech is silver; silence is golden' also supports it.”

This has caused problems among families. The development of technology, with televisions, computers etc. has made people more antisocial. Atasü discussed the desperate situation of the Turkish language.

“Think about a plant and suppose that it is Turkish,” she said. “If you cut the buds of it, from those cuts it will naturally grow up again. Now, tie colorful ribbons around those cuts. You can see the colorful parts are Arabic and Ottoman Turkish, the remaining part is Turkish.” Atasü stressed the dangers in the growing trend of new writers using Ottoman Turkish words in their work, oftentimes incorrectly. 

Unfortunately, the younger generation does not endeavor to use its mother tongue accurately. Since in some Turkish universities courses are taught in English, students mostly use a mixed version of Turkish and English.

Atasü asked, “How often do you come face to face with the words ‘pasha,’ ‘chat-lak’ ... while walking on the streets?” Actually, these are the effects of the corrupt American English, as it has become the language of globalization.

She concluded her talk by stating that science and philosophy contribute to the development of language. The Turkish Language Institute does has put forth little effort in furthering the Turkish language in the past 30 years. Atasü advised Turks to make every effort to enrich Turkish. The use of proverbs can be of much help.

Bilkent News

Halman Publishes Turkish Folk Literature Book

turkish folk Syracuse University Press has published in November 2009 a new book by Talat Halman entitled Popular Turkish Love Lyrics & Folk Legends featuring the life and poetry of Yunus Emre, Pir Sultan Abdal, Köroğlu, and Karacaoğlan together with three folk legends "The Black Sheep," "The Empty Cradle," and "The Gourd Bowl That Went Ticktock. "The book, edited by Jayne L. Warner, is lavishly illustrated with the artwork of the well-known Turkish-American painter Zeki Fındıkoğlu.

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Department of Philosophy Celebrates World Philosophy Day

world philosophy day

On Thursday, November 19 the Philosophy Department held its fifth annual one-day conference to celebrate UNESCO's World Philosophy Day. The aim of that Day is to make philosophy accessible to all and, thereby, to foster independent and critical thought. There was also a display in the foyer of Bilkent Library to coincide with the event. A packed audience was treated to a series of fascinating talks. Dr. Philip Durrant of the Graduate School of Education explained to the audience how working with empirical data on ordinary language usage reveals a lot more about language than philosophers might think. Using material from her recent book, Plato on Virtue and the Law (Continuum Press, 2009), Dr. Sandrine Berges argued that Plato's theory of justice is not as paternalistic as it might seem.

world philosophy day

Dr. Liz Disley, from the Program in Cultures, Civilizations and Ideas, examined whether we understand what others are thinking by simulating their mental processes. In the concluding session Prof. Ulrich Steinvorth drew on parts of his recent book, Rethinking the Western Understanding of the Self (Cambridge University Press, 2009), to defend the idea that people do have free will. This year's conference was notable because of the participation of two highly promising students from the Department of Philosophy. Tufan Kıymaz outlined and criticized Karl Popper's propensity theory of quantum probability, and Kamuran Osmanoğlu examined whether conceptual incommensurability is an obstacle to the possibility of universal values. As befits the interdisciplinary character of philosophy, the conference was attended by students and faculty from a wide range of departments at Bilkent.

Business Leaders Share Strategies


The Faculty of Business Administration advisory board met on November 20, 2009 to review its undergraduate and MBA program learning goals. The meeting was attended by Chairman of the Board of Directors of Alp Aviation, Tuncer Alpata; Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors of Unicredit Menkul Değerler, A.Ş. Kaan Başaran; Undersecretary for Defense Industry, Murad Bayar; General Manager of Beymen, Elif Çapçı; Vice-Chairman of Eczacıbaşı Holding, Faruk Eczacıbaşı;  McKinsey & Company Partner, Mehmet Şakir Güvendi; Board Member and CEO of TAV Construction, Sani Şener; and General Manager of Havelsan, Faruk Yarman.


"It is a pleasure and rewarding experience to host these business leaders," said Dean Erdal Erel. "It was nice to see that the curriculum and skill set acquired by the FBA students as a result of recent developments are in line with the expectations of the business world. This meeting also gave us an opportunity to share the recent strategic developments in our faculty with the business world."

Also in this issue:


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