Volume 16, Number 5
October 13, 2009

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A Collaborative Film Series Overview: Scholars on Film

tdpDepartment of Communication and Design presents a film series in which a number of Bilkent scholars introduce and discuss a film of their own choice in relation to their respective disciplines. The film screenings and talks will take place at the Faculty of Art Design and Architecture Conference Hall FFB-05 on Wednesdays.

The first screening will be on October 14 at 5:30 p.m. and introduced by Professor Erinç Yeldan of the Department of Economics. The interdisciplinary screenings and talks will be in English and open to anyone who is interested. The series will continue with new screenings in November and December. (Continues)

Öymen and Vural Meet at Bilkent to Discuss “Democratic Expansion”

öymen & vural

Two members of the Turkish Parliament, Onur Öymen (Vice President of the Republican People's Party, CHP) and Oktay Vural (Vice Chairman of Nationalist Movement Party, MHP), visited Bilkent University on Thursday, October 8 to discuss "Democratic Expansion." This first conference is part of a series organized by Bilkent Kültür ve İletişim Topluluğu. “Democratic Expansion” is currently on the Turkish Grand National Assembly's (TBMM) agenda. The deputies Öymen and Vural shared their ideas, predicting possible negative results of such an expansion, as well as solutions they propose. They were received by a large and enthusiastic audience.

Onur Öymen started his speech by explaining the main problems of the Eastern Anatolia Region. He tried to answer the question: Why does the cabinet insist on democratic expansion when there are more important problems in the region, such as economy, unemployment, and injustice? In his presentation, Mr. Öymen said the quality of life in South-Eastern cities is very poor. He concreted his claim by giving some government data.

"The average life expectancy in the Western cities is 75 in Turkey but this number reduces to 59 as we approach the South-Eastern cities," he said. "This means that even the most basic rights of humanity, 'The right of life,' is being violated in these cities."

"The government urgently needs to invest in the region to build the necessary health and education infrastructure in these cities," he continued. He also noted in sorrow that 95 percent of the teachers in the region are substitute teachers. This situation drastically reduces the people's education level. He also criticized the scarcity of doctors in the region and repeated his call to the cabinet to solve these problems first.

öymen & vural

In the second part of his speech, Mr. Öymen addressed the terror problem in Turkey. He believes that the proposed formulas, without addressing the source of the problem, will not be able to bring about a permanent solution. "If we approach the PKK problem just as a Kurdish issue without seeing it from this side, we will never be able to solve the terror problem in Turkey," Mr. Öymen said. "Turkey must convince its neighbors not to support terrorism, and it must be strong-minded in its demand."

MHP representative Oktay Vural started his speech by asking, "Is there any social issue in Turkey to make people accept the existence of such an issue?" In his presentation, Mr. Vural said that Turkish and Kurdish people have lived in peace for centuries when the government was not involved. Turkish states did not have social discrimination problems in their thousands of years of history, and we also don't have them now. He supported his ideas with some survey results on fundamental problems of the region gathered in Eastern-Anatolia. According to one survey, while the total percentage of unemployment, education and economic problems is 89 %, the percentage of social discrimination is 2.4. In another survey, this percentage proves as low as 1.8.

"These results clearly show that the people in the region do not have such a problem," Mr. Vural said. "The real problem and discrimination will begin when we treat these people as if they are different from us. This separation will harm the unitary-state structure of Turkish Republic. The real ambition of this expansion is to turn the terror problem into an ethnic identity problem."
After the speeches, the two deputies answered questions from Bilkenters who seemed sensitive to the problem and interested in the effects of democratic expansion to the social structure in Turkey.

İsmail Uyanık (EE/V)
Bilkent News

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Bilkent Symphony Orchestra Opens a New Season


Tamara Stefanovich, hailed by the media as "fantastic and highly intelligent pianist," opened the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra season on October 9 as a guest soloist. Under the baton of maestro Klaus Weise, Stefanovich and the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra presented Mozart's Piano Concerto No.20 and Schubert's Symphony No.9 "The Great" during the concert.

The Bilkent Erzurum Concert Hall at the İhsan Doğramacı Foundation's Bilkent Erzurum Laboratory School also hosted the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra on Monday, October 12. Klaus Weise conducted the evening performance, which featured soloist Tamara Stefanovich.

Upcoming Concert:
Friday, October 16 at 8 p.m.
Bilkent Concert Hall
Explanatory Concert
Bilkent Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Bujor Hoinic,
Violoncello, narrator: Ozan Tunca
R. Wagner | "Tristan and Isolde"
Prelude and Liebestod
R. Wagner | "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg", Prelude
R. Strauss | Don Quixote Op. 35


Urban Dreams Come True

Ferdi İnanlı (LAUD/09’) won 5th prize in the "National Student Idea Project Competition on Kızılay Urban Square and its Vicinity" organized by Turkey's Chamber of Architects Ankara Branch. The theme of the contest was "Urban Dreams."

İnanlı's project envisioned a Kızılay Square with open green spaces, recalling the original layout of Güven Park and Kızılay Park from years ago. He proposed to design Kızılay Square giving priority to pedestrian circulation by limiting private vehicular traffic, and connecting the north-south and east-west districts of Ankara.

The Competition Colloquium was held on Friday, October 9, at Çağdaş Sanatlar Merkezi, Ankara in which all projects were discussed and re-evaluated.


Get Together with the Families

Bilkent University has organized a Bilkent Families Get Together Day (Bilkentli Aileler Buluşma Günü). The first meeting will be held on Sunday, October 18, at Bilkent University Concert Hall.

Bilkent faculty members will meet with families of students who entered the University in the 2009 fall semester in the Faculties of Engineering, Business Administration and Economics, Administrative and Social Sciences, including those who are currently in BUSEL. The event will start at Bilkent Concert Hall at 1:30 p.m. and will continue with a campus tour, lectures and a reception.

Meetings for the remaining faculties and schools will be scheduled and announced later in the year.

Also in this issue:


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