Farewell to Turkey’s archaeology doyenne Halet Çambel
A ceremony was held at the Istanbul University to bid farewell Halet Çambel.A ceremony was held today at the Istanbul University for the doyenne of Turkish archaeology, Halet Çambel, who died on Jan. 12, aged 98. A carpet featuring shapes from the Hittite alphabet was placed next to Çambel’s coffin, covered with a Turkish flag.
Culture and Tourism Ministry Undersecretary Özgür Özarslan said they said farewell to Çambel in the place where she did her doctorate in the 1940s and retired. “It is rare to have personalities like her. She was very important for the development of archaeology in the country. When a BBC reporter asked her why she did not prefer living abroad, she replied saying, ‘this country raised me, made an investment to me. I don’t have the right to do this,’” he said.
The German Archaeology Institute Director Felix Pirson said Çambel was an important scientist who refused to meet Adolf Hitler. “This behavior impressed me very much. In this point, Germans may learn many things from a Turkish woman.
It was an honor for me to meet Çambel on a number of occasions. The institute lost a reliable friend,” he said. Çambel will be buried today in Muğla’s Akyaka district after the afternoon prayer.