Prof. Dr. Remzi Sanver
Istanbul Bilgi University, since its foundation, has taken clear and unequivocal positions throughout the democratization process of our country. That encompasses a long list of conferences held within our offices when no one wanted to host such conferences, as well as students accepted in classes when sartorial conditions were imposed almost everywhere else. We have been harshly criticized for most of our positions and deeds. We are still sometimes severely criticized, but we continue to abide by our values, which are universally and largely accepted, to safeguard our liberal and pluralistic stance.
Thanks to our stance, we have been able to attract Turkey’s best intellectuals to our university. In a very short span of time for a university to develop, we have become a reputable teaching institution in Turkey. We started as a social sciences university before expanding our field of excellence, first to architecture, and then to engineering, health sciences, design and a number of other fields to become a comprehensive university over the past 16 years.
We are a sizeable and reputable academic institution today, with more than 12,000 students, more than 16,000 alumni and over 800 instructors. We have done our utmost to become a university known for the dedication of its academics, known for the quality of the teaching and, last but not least, known for its adherence to universal academic values.
As the rector of a vibrant university, I have to make opening addresses almost daily, as you can imagine. This is, however, the first time that I am welcoming not only colleagues but also many of my very dear friends with whom I shared so many things. I am really unable to translate my feelings into words. However, I wish to draw attention to a very obvious fact: Seldom do such congresses gather so many brilliant minds together at once, which leads the organizers – I think very appropriately – to note that in Games2012, “Istanbul Welcomes Beautiful Minds.”