Snowstorm Hits Ankara February 29;
Bilkent Closed for a Day

The unusually cold winter of 2011-2012 continues to hold Europe in its grip, and Ankara has not been spared. On February 28 and 29, a snowstorm hit the city, with about 30 centimeters of snow falling in less than 24 hours.

In addition to the snow, high winds along with very cold temperatures resulted in extremely low wind chill levels. For the safety of students and academic and administrative staff, the University was closed on Wednesday, February 29. All classes and exams were canceled, and all academic and administrative staff given the day off.

Classes resumed at the University on Thursday, March 1. The Bilkent support staff worked hard to clear the main roads, parking lots, side roads and sidewalks of snow and ice. Thanks to their efforts, the snowfall did not impede traffic movement around the university too much; shuttle buses also ran, although on the weekend schedule. 

But just as every cloud has a silver lining, the snow brought out the beauty of the many pines around campus. And of course, many Bilkenters enjoyed having an unexpected day off!

"Blood Wedding": A New Production by ELIT Students

The Department of English Literature will present a new production of a twentieth-century play on March 9, 10 and 13. "Blood Wedding" by Federico Garcia Lorca is the third dramatic work to be performed by ELIT students since 2009. "The Importance of Being Earnest" and "Arms and the Man" were staged successively in 2009 and 2010 under the direction of ELIT faculty member Gül Kurtuluş.

Erdi Mamikoğlu, a graduate of the Department of Theater at Bilkent, who recently received the Sadri Alışık Anadolu Tiyatro Award, will direct "Blood Wedding," taking a surrealistic approach to the work.

For two hours, the play will take the audience to early twentieth-century Spain, for a theatrical experience of the revenge, passion, grief and despair caused by a family feud. The translation being used for the performance was done by A. S. Klein, a British poet and translator.

Students taking part in the play are: Kaan Akın, Melik Babur and Nazlı Elif Yalçın (ELIT/I); Özkan Akkaya, İpek Çakaloz, Gamze Sönmez and Ahmet Can Vargün (ELIT/II); Alev Sezin Çırak, Betül Erdem, Yasemin Muzmul, Nimet Poyraz and Erolcan Talas (ELIT/III); Ülkem Önal and İlknur Yakar (ELIT/IV).

Since a play is complete only with an audience, all are invited to attend these performances. They will be in English and will begin at 8 p.m. each evening at the Bilkent Theater Hall. Entrance is free.

Central Bank of Turkey "TL Symbol Contest"

In September 2011, the Central Bank of Turkey launched a "TL Symbol Contest" to create a new currency sign for the Turkish lira. The contest elicited 8,362 submissions, among which only four were given awards by a jury composed of academicians and executives from major banks The results were revealed on March 1, 2012, at a press conference in which Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also participated. The symbol designed by Department of Graphic Design Instructor Dr. Özlem Özkal was selected among the top four and received one of the three honorable mentions (Teşvik Ödülü). For more information, please visit

IR Professor Awarded Fulbright Grant

Assistant Professor Pınar İpek (IR) has been awarded a Fulbright Senior Scholarship for the 2012-2013 academic year. Dr. İpek specializes in energy politics and international political economy. She will be using this grant to spend the next year in Washington, DC, to conduct a project on energy security.

Dr. İpek's research project addresses the question of how socialization among states and non-state actors influences preference change and results in cooperation on energy security. Focusing on the creation of the European internal energy market, which is crucial to achieving energy security for the European Union (EU), and NATO's initiative to promote energy infrastructure security, Dr. İpek's project will identify contingent factors of socialization affecting cooperation in regard to energy security. These findings would then help guide policy makers and diplomats in setting appropriate mechanisms to facilitate cooperation to overcome the challenges of energy security.

Fulbright Senior Scholarships allow researchers to spend up to six months in the United States. Following the completion of their research activities in the United States, grantees are expected to return to Turkey and share their Fulbright experience with others.

Personal Development Days: Final Week

After some events being postponed last week due to the heavy snow, the Career Center's Personal Development Days are continuing this week.

Personal Development Days offer Bilkent students the opportunity to interact with professionals from all walks of life. As part of the event, actor/director Müjdat Gezen visited the campus on March 1. He shared his own experiences and ideas on life, art, culture and social issues with Bilkent students, who packed the hall for the presentation.

This week, PDD will end with its final activity, a tree planting, on Saturday, March 10. Also, be sure to mark your calendars for journalist Uğur Dündar's talk on Friday, March 9 at FADA, FFB-22.