Volume 16, Number 14
December 29, 2009

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2009 TÜBİTAK Awards Ceremony


The TÜBİTAK Awards Ceremony took place on December 25 at the Çankaya Köşkü, residence of the president of Turkey, with President Abdullah Gül in attendance.

TÜBİTAK awarded only one Science Award this year, which went to Bilkent University's Prof. Dr. Engin Umut Akkaya of the Department of Chemistry. The Science Award is the highest honor given by TÜBİTAK every year.

2009 Tübitak Awards

Dr. Taner Yıldırım of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Pennsylvania won this year's TÜBİTAK Special Award.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mehmet Özgür Oktel of the Department of Physics, Asst. Prof. Dr. Hilmi Volkan Demir of the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering and Department of Physics, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Emre Alper Yıldırım of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hatice Pınar Bilgin of the Department of International Relations, have been awarded by TÜBİTAK Incentive Award for 2009.

Dr. Özlem Keskin from Koç University received this year's Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) Incentive Award.

“The Bald Soprano” at Bilkent


Seniors in the department of Performing Arts at the Faculty of Music and Performing Arts are staging the play "Kel Kantocu" (The Bald Soprano/La Cantatrice Chauve) by Eugène Ionesco. The Bilkent production premiered on December 23 and December 25 at the Bilkent Theatre Hall. Additional performances of the play will take place January 8-9, 15-16 and 22-23.

Eugène Ionesco was a Romanian and French playwright and dramatist, one of the foremost playwrights of the Theatre of the Absurd. Beyond ridiculing the most banal of situations, Ionesco's plays realistically depict the solitude and insignificance of human existence.

Humor and the grotesque form Ionesco's fundamental expression. According to Ionesco "being funny" gives us the power to get over the tragedy of life.

"The Bald Soprano" was Ionesco's first play, staged in Paris in the 1950s. Like many plays in the theatre of the absurd genre, the underlying theme of "The Bald Soprano" is not immediately apparent. There was speculation around the time of its first performance that categorized it as a parody. Ionesco writes in an essay to his critics that he had no intention of parody, but if he were parodying anything, it would be everything.

In the 1950s, La Cantatrice Chauve was translated into various languages and widely staged. By the next decade in the United States, where it had been translated and produced as "The Bald Soprano," it was already being recognized as a modern classic, an important seminal work in the theater of the absurd, a genre which by then was just becoming vogue in America.

Inspired by the play, two operas and a couple films were made. Ionesco is still a very important writer.

According to producer and art director, Giorgi Antadze, this play reflects the psychology of community mass. "Heros of the play," anti-heros are carrying the psychology. The characters' minds are plagued with the question, "What is the essence of human life, what is the main reason of being?" It's not the illusion of theater trying to imitate life on the stage-it is a poetic, anti-illusion theatre based on fantasy and a dreamed-up world.

Producer and Art Director:
Giorgi Antadze
Mr. Smith: K. Murat Demir
Mrs. Smith: Şahnur İzgi,
Açelya Devrim Yılhan
Mr. Martin / Dr. McKenzie King:
Taylan Uysal
Mrs. Martin: Renan Kanbay, Nilperi Şahinkaya
Mary: Derya Özkan, Hande Kaptan
Fire Chief: Eray Cezayirlioğlu
2.Mr. Martin: Özgür Avcu
2.Mrs. Martin: Nilperi Şahinkaya,Renan Kanbay
"Kel Kantocu" takes the stage on January 8-9, 15-16, 22-23 at the Bilkent Theater Hall, 8 p.m. No fee will be charged for the tickets.

For more information call ext. 1775 and 2280.

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Bilkent Mourns the Loss of Prof. Cüneyt Gökçer

Cüneyt GökçerState artist Prof. Cüneyt Gökçer, founding chair of the Department of Theatre, Bilkent University, former director of the State Theatre, passed away on December 23, 2009.

Cüneyt Gökçer, one of the masters of Turkish theater, was born in Malatya in 1920. He graduated from the State Conservatory, Theater Department in 1942. At the State Conservatory, he served both as an actor and as a director. Gökçer played leading roles in many plays such as “King Oedipus,” “Twelfth Night,” “IV Henry,” “The Fidler on the Roof,” “Antigone,” “Julius Caesar,” and “King Lear.”

Prof. Gökçer served as the general director of State Theater, the director of Ankara State Conservatory, and the chair of the Department of Theater of Bilkent University. During 1959-1997 Gökçer directed over 20 operas including: Richard Strauss's Salome.

Cüneyt Gökçer

In addition to the numerous awards he received, Gökçer was conferred the title of the State Artist in 1982. He was awarded the medal of King I. Georges of
Greece (1963), the title  of Commandatore, Italy (1970) as well as the Medal of Culture, Poland.

A gathering to commemorate and to pay tribute to Prof. Gökçer was held on December 25, 2009, at the Faculty of Music and Performing Arts. During the ceremony State Theater General Director Prof. Lemi Bilgin and Rector, Prof. Ali Doğramacı, expressed their grief over Gökçek's passing and shared their memories with the audience. The ceremony was followed by another gathering at the Ankara State Opera.

Prof. Gökçer will be sadly missed not only by his family, but also by large numbers of colleagues and former students.

Prof. Erden Kuntalp Awarded by L'Académie Française

Cüneyt GökçerProfessor Erden Kuntalp of the Faculty of Law was honored with the "Médailles de Vermeil" by The French Academy (L'Académie Française) on June 24 for his contributions to French language and literature.

The French Academy, founded in 1635 under the reign of Louis XIII by the Cardinal of Richelieu, is an institution that functions to normalize and improve the French language. The Academy consists of forty members, known as immortels (immortals) with the task of acting as an official authority on the language. The immortels are responsible for publishing the language's official dictionary.

A ceremony was held on Thursday, December 3 in Paris. French Faculty Jean-Marie Rouart paid his tributes to Prof. Kuntalp.

"Prof. Kuntalp is not only a big academic," he said, "but he is also a passionate defender of French education in Turkey."

Also in this issue:

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