Eurasian Academy presented its Eurasian Legend Award to Prof. Halil İnalcık, founder of the Department of History at Bilkent. The ceremony took place in Mithat Çoruh Auditorium on Teachers’ Day.
The Eurasian Academy was recently established at Khazar University in Baku, Azerjaijan. Prof. Hamlet İsahanlı, the founder of Khazar University, chairman of its Board of Directors and Trustees and a founder of the Eurasian Academy, traveled to Ankara to present the award to Prof. İnalcık, who is also a founding member of the new academy.
The ceremony began with opening remarks from Rector Abdullah Atalar, who said, “Our founder, Prof. İhsan Doğramacı, valued both history and Azerbaijan. Today, we are present at a ceremony where the two meet. I am sure if he were here, he would be very happy.”
Mehmet Kalpaklı, chair of the Department of History, then gave a talk, “Biyografisine Sığmaya bir Bilim Adamı” (A Scholar Who Outgrows His Biography), in which he presented a detailed biography of Prof. İnalcık. He concluded with these words: “Halil İnalcık is a scholar for whom words and sentences cannot adequately express the significance of his biography. He outgrows his biography through his scholarly works, through the students he educates and through the service he gives to his profession and his country.”
Prof. İsahanlı, in presenting the award, noted that Prof. İnalcık is “a well-known scientist not only in Turkey but throughout the world. It is a great honor to have him as a founding member of the Eurasian Academy.” He described the Eurasian Legend Award as one representing the confluence of science, art and time.
Also speaking at the ceremony was composer Arif Malikov, who referred to some of his memories of Prof. İhsan Doğramacı.
In his acceptance speech, Prof. İnalcık focused on the history of the relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan. He then expressed his gratitude, saying, “It is an honor for me to be one of the founding members of the academy and to receive this award. Your giving me an award that represents ‘time’ reminds me that I am over one hundred years old. I am very pleased to receive this honor in my second century.”