Bilkent University Confers Honorary Doctorate Upon Almazbek Atambayev

Almazbek Atambayev, President of Kyrgyzstan, was awarded an honorary doctorate in the field of political science by Bilkent University on Friday, January 13. The ceremony took place in the University Concert Hall and was attended by a large contingent of the Bilkent community.

Born in 1956 in Kyrgyzstan's northern region of Chui, Almazbek Atambayev graduated from the Moscow Institute of Management with a degree in economics. From 1983 to 1987 he served on the Supreme Council of the Kyrgyz SSR. In 1993 he was one of the founders of the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan. Also a successful entrepreneur, he served as the country's minister of industry, trade and tourism in 2005-2006 and as prime minister in 2007. In 2008 he was elected head of the United People's Movement, and again became prime minister in December 2010. In December 2011 he was elected president of Kyrgyzstan.

In his speech, President Atambayev said, "Even though I studied in Moscow, it is only now, at age 55, that I am for first time in my life seeing such a great university. If academicians and students from Bilkent come to Kyrgyzstan, there's no doubt that Kyrgyzstan will develop. It is an honor to receive this doctoral degree from Bilkent University."

Bilkent Community Saddened by the Loss of Two Members

Yener Dinçmen, a member of the Board of Trustees of Bilkent University, passed away on January 21, 2012. We wish to extend our condolences to the Dinçmen family and the Bilkent community.


Bilkent University lost Ömer Faruk Erdem, assistant professor in the Faculty of Law, on Monday, January 2, 2012. We are deeply saddened by the loss of this beloved teacher and would like to express our condolences to his family, friends, students and the Bilkent community.

International Projects Group Brings Youth Together Through Volunteer Work

The International Projects Group, a subgroup of Social Awareness Projects (Toplumsal Duyarlılık Projeleri/TDP), has received a grant of 13,000 euros from the Center for European Union Education and Youth Programmes to launch a new project, "I'm In." I'm In aims at promoting voluntary work and supporting intercultural dialogue among youth. Group members will host 20 young people from Spain, Italy, Azerbaijan and Kosovo for nine days in Ankara. All participants will visit TDP projects to learn about what youth can achieve through voluntary work and share their own experiences in this area. The participants will also learn more about each other's cultures and traditions.

The International Projects Group believes that if European youth get to know each other, they can eliminate prejudices. Since 2006, the group has carried out five different projects with peers from various European countries, including Germany, Slovenia, Estonia, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.

If you would like to join them, you can get acquainted and learn more at TDP's first meeting for the semester on Thursday, February 9.

Young Playwright Receives Award

Erdi Mamikoğlu, a 2011 Department of Theater graduate, has received the Sadri Alışık Anadolu Tiyatro Award. This is only the second time this "Special Youth Award" has been given.

While still a prep-year student at Bilkent, Erdi Mamikoğlu became the youngest playwright to have his work performed at the Turkish State Theatre. His play "81st Avenue, Block 14, Flat Number 2" was staged there when he was only 19 years old.

Mr. Mamikoğlu received the recent award for his continued success as a playwright and director. Works he has written and/or directed include: "Princess Agnes and Her Jester Dolores" (written and directed in 2010); "Hiç Kimsenin Öyküsü" (written in 2009, staged at Bursa  DT); and Chekhov's "A Marriage Proposal" (directed in 2011, staged at Bilkent Theater).


Bullock-Wellman Fellowship Goes to Bilkent PhD

Sedat Nizamoğlu, an MSc and PhD graduate of Bilkent University, has recently been selected as a winner of the prestigious Bullock-Wellman Fellowship Award by an independent peer review group of scientists at MIT and Harvard University.

Dr. Nizamoğlu received an MSc degree in physics in 2007 and a PhD degree in electrical and electronics engineering in 2011, both under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Hilmi Volkan Demir (EEE, PHYS, UNAM) at Bilkent University.

Having worked in nanocrystal optoelectronics at UNAM with Dr. Demir, Dr. Nizamoğlu is currently working at the Harvard Medical School and the Wellman Center for Photomedicine to develop a new class of biophotonic devices for light-based therapy, surgery and diagnosis. He has coauthored over 30 top-tier SCI journal papers and is a coinventor of two pending patents of the Demir Group at Bilkent.