Letters, Articles

Letter of appreciation from the Edinburg University following the donation of a book collection from the Hazai Foundation

 

 

Students’ rememberings

 

 

Dear Cecilia,

I am sorry to hear that Professor Hazai passed away…

You have my deepest condolences…

Unfortunately, life has an end for all the people, even the extraordinary and exceptional people like Prof Hazai…

We will remember him always with love because he was OUR Professor, the FOUNDER of our Department, and most of all, a genuine advisor to all of us.

It was always safe for everyone, students, colleagues when Prof Hazai was near…

We were feeling safe and in good hands since he was our Professor…

We have been his students, after many years we have been his colleagues, and he was always there for us…

I still remember him when I had my first lesson in the University of Cyprus….

With smile, he said to me “Good morning dear colleague” … imagine that he was the famous Hazai, and I was a 20 years old undergraduate student…

I already contact the Rector of the University of Cyprus, the Dean of the School and during the next few days we will decide what can we do in his memory.

Monday morning I will inform the Board of the Department.

We owe him so much….

Have courage, we say goodbye to a beloved Professor, to a father for you but for us as well!

Michalis N. Michael

Assistant Professor

University of Cyprus

Department of Turkish 
and Middle Eastern Studies

Dear Cecilia,

I was deeply shocked and saddened by the news that Professor Hazai passed away.
I feel greatly privileged to have had the chance to meet him and be his student, not only because he was a brilliant scholar but also because he was a wonderful person, always to be remembered for his kindness and professionalism.

I remember my very first day at the university of Cyprus (which was also the very first day of classes in the history of the University), when Professor Hazai opened a wide, brand-new window to the Turkish world before the astonished eyes of twenty freshmen, whose imagination could never reach the limits of this world without his enthusiasm and broad knowledge.
“Don’t worry” he used to reply to our concerns and questions with an infinite amount of patience, respect and support to our efforts. It was those virtues that undoubtedly helped successfully to found the Department of Turkish studies in the University of Cyprus – a tremendously difficult job as the department was an absolute innovation for Cyprus’ society and education system back in 1992.

I have no words to thank Professor Hazai for his guidance, knowledge and kindness.
I will always remember his warm hospitality in Budapest, his support to my participation to my first-ever academic conference in Munich, his advice, his kind words for Cyprus, its people and in particular his students.

Please accept my sincere condolences. We will all miss him.

Yours sincerely,
Penelope Erotokritou

In September 1993 I entered the Department of Turkish Studies at the University of Cyprus as an undergraduate student. I did not know what to expect. The Department and degree programme were at their infancy-I was in the second-ever cohort to enter.

I, alongside another 20-odd hopefuls, was greeted by a charming, tall, white-haired gentleman whose wide smile, sparkling blue eyes and warm demeanour captured me immediately. He was Prof. György Hazai, a globally prominent figure in the world of Turkish Studies who was at the time Head of Department. Prof. Hazai was one of those unforgettable academics, who left an indelible mark on my own career, values and attitude in my own work. You see, despite the fact that we was a truly renowned, world-class scholar in his field, editor of the prestigious Archivum Ottomanicum among other things, his attitude towards his students was nothing other than collegial, supportive, encouraging and open. He addressed all of us as ‘dear colleagues’, building the Department on the basis that we were all equally invested in the scholarship of our field, we all had a voice and a share in proceedings, from the learning arena to departmental policy matters. You can imagine what an impact this approach had on 18-20 year olds who thought that university was something like high school. Hazai transgressed the boundary of power and authority inherent in every teaching situation, which unfortunately most of his peers still adhere to. You see, many academics can boast a rich CV, a successful career with groundbreaking research. But how many of them can genuinely say that they were an inspiration to their students, a positive force which not only achieved much, but enabled others to follow? Hazai was exactly that.

I was able to benefit from his wealth of knowledge and the vast horizons he was able to open up for his students and peers. Alongside a couple of others, his role was hugely important at a formative time for me.

Hazai was always a friend, a good colleague and a supportive teacher, no matter how many years had passed, no matter how many other students he taught. When I found out of his passing I was at first saddened at the loss of a warm and thoughtful person I once knew, a knowledgeable scholar of the kind which is becoming increasingly extinct. Then I remembered the good times, and felt genuinely privileged and fortunate that our paths crossed. I will never forget him.

Nur içinde yat, dear colleague. I hope you are having some interesting conversations with Lajos Fekete and the other luminaries up there.

Marios Hadjianastasis

Academic Practice Advisor, University of Birmingham

January 11, 2016 

Graduation party, 1997 with prof. Hazai

My Turkish Studies cohort receiving our degree certificates in 1997, with prof. Hazai