Istanbul University gave honorary doctorate to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko

The honorary doctorate was given to the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko at a ceremony held on November 3, 2018 at the IU Rectorate Building.​
At the ceremony, the reason for giving the honorary doctorate to President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko was read by Prof Dr Ayşegül Komsuoğlu Çıtıpıtıoğlu, Dean of the Faculty of Political Sciences of IU. Prof Dr Ayşegül Komsuoğlu Çıtıpıtıoğlu said, “The close relationship that has been evolving over time between the Republic of Turkey and Ukraine is a concrete example of the importance both states put on a lasting peace in international relations. Commercial, social and political ties between the two countries are getting stronger every passing year. In the development of relations between the two countries, President Poroshenko has played an important role throughout his political career as a political leader. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko was awarded an honorary doctorate because of his belief in the importance of global and regional peace with the virtue of democratic values and his persistent efforts on evaluating the contribution of regional cooperation to establish strong ties between the Republic of Turkey and Ukraine. “

“Turkey's first Ukrainian Language and Literature Department opened at Istanbul University”
Stating that there were extensive and multi-faceted relations as a legacy left over from history between Turkey and Ukraine, in his speech IU Rector Prof Dr Mahmut Ak said, “A good example of Turkey-Ukraine relations is the correspondence between Sultan Mehmed IV and Ukraine Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky. As understood from this historical convergence, both sides have promised a kinship. This principle of kinship has been the mainstay of developing Turkey-Ukraine relations. From the mid-15th century to the beginning of the 19th century, a large part of the territory of Southern Ukraine remained under the patronage of the Ottoman Empire; Turks, Ukrainians and Crimean-Tatars in the northern Black Sea steppes have had formed a unified life and culture in peace.”

“The Government of Turkey formally recognizes the independent and sovereign State of Ukrainian. It can be said that, over the last 27 years, Turkey-Ukraine relations have reached high levels in the fields of economy, trade and tourism. With the development of adaptation policies in these sectors, works in cultural and scientific fields gain momentum, too. In the departments of Turkology, which are opened at universities in Odessa, Kharkiv, Dnipro and Lviv the experts and lecturers sent from Istanbul University and other institutes teach Turkish Language, Ottoman and General Turkish History and Modern Turkish Dialects. Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine National Academy Oriental Research Institute, Odesa Mechnikov National University and Istanbul University have bilateral agreements made in the 1990s. For the first time in Turkey, within Istanbul University Faculty of Letters Slavic Languages and Literatures Department, Ukrainian Language and Literature Department was opened and as of 2017-2018 education year, it opened its doors and arms to its students.”

“We are improving our academic relations with Ukraine with each passing day”
Head of the Council of Higher Education, Prof Dr Yekta Saraç, stated that he was pleased to be attending the event both as YÖK President and as a member of Istanbul University. In his speech Prof Dr Saraç said, “We are very happy to be carrying our academic relations and collaboration with Ukraine with a close cooperation. I would like to emphasize once again, in the presence of the President, that we very much care about the further strengthening of our relations with regard to higher education. In this context, I want to talk about our association in the field of higher education with the aim of making the ties between the two countries more effective.”

In 2016, The Council of Higher Education have made a visit to Ukraine and within the scope of their stay, the Council of Higher Education stated that a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between YÖK and the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine with the aim of creating strategic cooperation in the higher education systems of the two countries. Prof Dr Saraç also shared the conclusions reached with the Memorandum of Understanding. Stating that Turkey's first Ukrainian Language and Literature major had opened at the University of Istanbul Prof Dr Saraç continued his speech as follows, “Students who will study in this program will learn the Ukrainian language and get a chance to educate themselves about Ukrainian culture as well. In this context, the partnerships of the two countries' academies are very valuable and meaningful. As of the academic year of 2017-2018, 62 Ukrainian academicians are working in various universities of our country. And again as of the academic year of 2017-2018, 611 students of Ukrainian nationality were educated at our universities. Within the scope of the Project Based International Exchange Program, the projects of four universities has been approved for the 2018-2019 academic year. Our current relations and all these developments are very valuable and meaningful for the two countries with the same vision of wanting better for their country.”
Following the opening speeches, IU Rector Prof Dr Mahmut Ak gave the honorary doctorate diploma to the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and pinned the Istanbul University Badge.

“It is a privilege to get an honorary degree from Istanbul University”
In his speech, President of Ukraine Petro Poroşenko expressed his pleasure of starting his visit to Turkey from such a historic place and said, “The history of Istanbul University dates back to 1453. Its walls have borne witness many important events and as well as being the oldest educational institution in Turkey, Istanbul University is an institute that raised the most outstanding people in business and science fields. It is a pleasure for me to receive an honorary doctorate from such an educational institution and to be deemed worthy of the title. Turkey is a country of extreme importance for me.”

“Education and sharing information is a very important subject and Istanbul University reflects this very well. In addition to this, the number of students who started to study in the Department of Ukrainian Language and Literature at the University of Istanbul is continuingly increasing. This means that students who apply for this major are aware of the potential of the relations between the two countries. I would also like to thank each lecturer and every student for their dedication, interest and for their hard work. Receiving this title from Turkey’s most prestigious university, Istanbul University, is an honour for me.”
After the speeches, "Archival Documents of the 100th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Turkey and Ukraine Exhibition" was opened and visited at the IU Rectorate Building.
The event ended after a souvenir photo was taken.

Story by Eda FİDAN
Translated by Ece GÖÇ
IU Press and Public Relations

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