Sumerologist turns 109
Veteran Turkish Sumerologist Muazzez İlmiye Çığ, who lives in the southern province of Mersin, has turned 109 years old. Mersin’s Mezitli district Mayor Neşet Tarhan made a surprise visit to Çığ and at her home with his wife Sembol Tarhan.
According to a statement made by the Mezitli Municipality, Tarhan gifted the photos they took together at the opening of a park in Mezitli, which was named after her, and on different birthdays, to Çığ, who made great contributions to the history of the Sumerians. Symbol Tarhan also presented her a custom-made evil eye bead.
Giving advice to young people, Çığ emphasized that young people should read a lot and work hard.
“Let our young people believe. Now there are some troubles, but they should believe that all of these troubles will end. Let them never be hopeless, let them work harder. I am hopeful about the young people. Very smart children are growing up. Adults need to be very careful and support them,” she said.
Stating that Çığ has given all her messages to young people in recent years, Tarhan said, “We laid our hopes on the youth. Çığ always shows the correct address. Young people also love Çığ and follow her path. As the lovers of Türkiye and Atatürk, we will continue to work on the path drawn by Çığ so that more people adopt Atatürk’s ideas.”
Born in the northwestern province of Bursa in 1914, Çığ began studies in 1936 at Ankara University’s Department of Hittitology. She made a career at the Museum of the Ancient Orient, one of three such institutions comprising Istanbul Archaeology Museums, as a resident specialist in the field of cuneiform tablets.
Due to her efforts in the deciphering and publication of the tablets, the Museum became a Middle Eastern languages learning center attended by ancient history researchers from every part of the world.
She is known for her profession and for the diligent and systematic investigation evident in her books, scholarly papers and general interest articles published in magazines and newspapers.