Bilkent Chemistry Team Takes First Place in Middle East Competition

The Bilkent Chemistry team, made up of third-year student Hüseyin Ergüven and second-year student Abdurrahman Türksoy, received first prize in the International Organic Chemistry Competition held last week in Beirut, Lebanon. 

With sponsorship from Lebanon's Ministry of Education and the Lebanese National Commission for UNESCO, the American University of Beirut (AUB) held the region's second Organic Chemistry Competition on February 7, 2012. The competition was first held last year to celebrate the International Year of Chemistry.

Organized by Prof. Bilal Kafarani of AUB, the competition was open to all undergraduate students in Lebanon and the Middle East region. Sixty-two two-student teams from 11 universities in five countries participated in this year's competition, which tested their knowledge of organic chemistry.

The teams competed using clickers with the "fastest responders" tool to answer 18 multiple-choice questions. The team with the most correct answers in the fastest time was the Bilkent team, the only team from Turkey, earning 50 points and a cash prize of $1,000.

A movie documenting the 2011 competition is posted on YouTube at: /watch?v=Q9iJf0EhD5I; scenes from the 2012 competition will soon be available on the same site.

IR Professor Wins Prestigious Book Prize

Assistant Professor Sean McMeekin of the Department of International Relations has won the prestigious Tomlinson Prize for his book entitled "The Russian Origins of the First World War" (Harvard University Press, 2011). The Tomlinson Prize is awarded annually by the World War One Historical Association to the book the Association judges to be the year's best in English on the First World War. As its title suggests, Dr. McMeekin's book uncovers the "Russian origins" of World War I, highlighting the ways in which the outbreak of violence and the tragedies that ensued were tied up with Russian foreign policy decisions and actions.

New Issue of The Journal of Turkish Literature Published

The Journal of Turkish Literature, published annually by the Center for Turkish Literature at Bilkent University, has just released its eighth issue, which features a panoply of articles on many different periods of Turkish literary creativity. JTL is the only English-language scholarly journal devoted in its entirety to Turkish literature.

The 160-page issue -- which features a stunning cover image of a blue tile design from the circumcision chamber at Topkapı Palace -- contains pieces on early Anatolian frontier culture (by Leyla Kayhan Elbirlik), the Ottoman admiral Seydi Ali Reis's travel writing on the Indo-Muslim world (by Efe Murat Balıkçıoğlu), dream narratives in Ottoman literature (by Ahmet Tunç Şen), literary aspects of Ottoman letter-writing (by Aliye F. Mataracı), the literary controversy between Beşir Fuad and his opponents (by Mehmet K. Karabela), nature and culture in Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar's work (by Kim Fortuny), writing torture (by Başak Çandar) and Murathan Mungan and the sultan of snakes (by Abigail Bowman). There is also a review (by David Selim Sayers) of İlhan Başgöz's book, entitled "Turkish Folk Romance as Performance Art."

JTL's new issue, no. 8, is available for 45 TL (or 25 USD, or 20 EUR) from Bilkent University, Center for Turkish Literature, Ankara, Turkey, e-mail:, tel: 290 2317. The first three issues can also be purchased as a set, at a price of 55 TL (or USD 30, or 25 EUR) for all three.

Bilkent University Adds Google+ to Its Official Social Networking

In the Web 2.0 age, we aren't just information consumers any more. As users of social media and other shared services, we all have the opportunity to actively participate in generating content. Through social networking, a virtual community is created where we're able to interact and collaborate.

For some time now, Bilkent University has been part of this community, gathering and sharing information through its social media channels, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Now, the university has an official Google+ page as well, for Google Plus users who would like to have interactive communication with Bilkent.

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As a New Semester Begins, TDP Seeks New Volunteers

Last week on February 9, the Social Awareness Projects (TDP) student organization held its first meeting for this semester, welcoming new members and introducing them to the group's ongoing volunteer projects.

With the motto "What about being part of the solution, not the problem?" in mind, the Social Awareness Projects (TDP/Toplumsal Duyarlılık Projeleri) student organization is continuing to conduct community service activities. Although the new academic semester has just started, the organization's members have wasted no time in getting to work on their numerous projects, as well as holding events for new volunteers.

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