Having made great contributions to the higher education of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus for 30 years, serving the last 23 years as the Rector of the Near East University, Prof. Dr. Ümit Hassan was bid farewell to his last journey. 80-year-old Prof. Dr. Ümit Hassan has been receiving treatment at the Near East University Hospital for a while. On Tuesday, January 17, at noon, Prof. Dr. Ümit Hassan passed away. As a versatile academician, Ümit Hassan was one of the most distinguished scholars of the Turkish world.
The ceremony to which President Ersin Tatar, Minister of National Education Nazım Çavuşoğlu and Nicosia Deputy Ahmet Savaşan Prof. Dr. Ümit Hassan’s wife Süheyla Hassan and their daughters Ayşe Ferda Hassan and Erdem Nefes and Near East University Founding Rector Dr. Suat İrfan Günsel and Member of the Board of Trustees of the Near East Enterpries Prof. Dr. İrfan Suat Günsel attended, was held with the intense participation of Günsel Family, Near East University vice-rectors, deans, institute directors, academics, students and university staff.
The University of Kyrenia Rector Prof. Dr. İlkay Salihoğlu, Rector of the European University of Lefke Prof. Dr. Mehmet Ali Yükselen, Rector of International Final University Prof. Dr. Hüseyin Yaratan, Rector of Cyprus University of Health and Social Sciences Prof. Dr. İbrahim Levent Taner were present at the ceremony held at the Near East University Atatürk Culture and Congress Center to fulfill their last duties to Prof. Dr. Ümit Hassan.
At the ceremony President Ersin Tatar, Minister of National Education Nazım Çavuşoğlu, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Near East Enterprises Prof. Dr. İrfan Suat Günsel, Near East University Faculty of Law, History of Law Research Assistant Erkut Ziya Sivrikaya delivered speeches and Süleyman Gündüz delivered a speech on behalf of the students of Near East University.
At the ceremony where the moment of silence and the National Anthem was voiced, an emotional video about Prof. Dr. Ümit Hassan was also screened. After the ceremony through which the participants burst into tears, Prof. Dr. Ümit Hassan’s body was sent to his final resting place at the Nicosia cemetery.
At the Nicosia Cemetery, the funeral prayer for Prof. Dr. Ümit Hassan was attended by the Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey Prof. Dr. Metin Feyzioğlu, YODAK President Prof. Dr. Turgay Avcı and former prime minister Faiz Sucuoğlu.
Prof. Dr. İrfan Suat Günsel: “He taught us the philosophy of being a Near Easterner with his wisdom, his words and his carefully chosen words. He was a Near Eastern; He was the Near East itself!”
“I am fulfilling one of the most difficult tasks of my life with a sense of indescribable sadness and a feeling of emptiness that cannot be filled.”
Starting his words by saying “It fell to me to talk while saying goodbye to a great man,” Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Near East Enterprises Prof. Dr. İrfan Suat Günsel, reminding that in 1993, when Prof. Dr. Ümit Hassan joined the Near East Family, he was only 11 years old and the university was 5 years old, said, “He dedicated 30 years of his 80-year life to the Near East University and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. He did a lot for this country. He was our founding rector, Dr. Suat Günsel’s greatest companion. He taught us the philosophy of being a Near Easterner with his wisdom, his words and his carefully chosen words. He was a Near Eastern; He was the Near East itself!”
“We grew up with him, we walked together, we went through big troubles shoulder to shoulder, we lived the pride of great successes together,” saying Prof. Dr. Gunsel, emphasized that Prof. Dr. Ümit Hassan was a versatile academicianand futher said, “My teacher Ümit Hassan was a tree of wisdom. It was as if a different science was growing in every branch of this tree, and a different knowledge was growing in every leaf. He was one of the greatest scholars of the Turkish world, who produced great works in each of his qualifications as a lawyer, political scientist, sociologist and historian. By synthesizing these fields with each other, he taught very important lessons and trained thousands of students. Happily, he became my teacher during my university years at the Faculty of Law. He was my greatest mentor in my academic life.”
Saying that they named Ümit Hassan Republic Hall last year in January, Prof. Dr. Günsel reminded the words of Prof. Dr. Ümit Hassan at the ceremony, “My biggest debt is to my students who have encouraged me to learn for more than half a century. I learned thanks to them”.
Prof. Dr. İrfan Suat Günsel said, “Don’t worry, my Teacher… You paid off your debt too much. Your name will live on forever with your students, and with what you teach. Your name will never be forgotten as long as the Near East University, which carries the sweat of every brick with its great efforts and has turned into one of the most distinguished institutions of world science today. The works you left will continue to shine a light on new generations. I assure you, my Teacher, we will protect your trust with all our being, and we will always strive to be worthy of you. Sleep in peace, with mercy, my Teacher. You will always be with us, always in our minds, always in our hearts.”
President Ersin Tatar: “Our teacher’s unique interpretation, wisdom and humanity will always be in our ears with the information and words he instilled in us.”
President Ersin Tatar, who did not leave Prof. Dr. Ümit Hassan alone on his last journey, delivered a speech at the ceremony: “I am deeply saddened by the death of Prof. Dr. Ümit Hassan, the esteemed member of the Near East Family.”
“Prof. Dr. Ümit Hassan has added many beauties to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the Near East Family for 30 years with his wisdom, humanity and academic success. I would like to thank him once again for all the efforts he has put into it,” President Tatar said, and also talked about Ümit Hassan’s contribution to the education of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. President Tatar, stating that Prof. Dr. Hassan will always be remembered, said, “The information and words that our teacher instilled in us in line with his unique interpretation, wisdom and humanity will always be in our ears.”
President Tatar said, “Prof. Dr. Ümit Hassan is leaving us, but also leaving permanent traces in the history of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, establishing a throne in the hearts of all of us.”
Nazım Çavuşoğlu: “Prof. Dr. Ümit Hassan has taken many roots at the Near East University, which will turn into great trees of wisdom. This big plane tree will live forever in the many trees it led to taking root.”
Minister of National Education Nazım Çavuşoğlu said, “Whenever I met our esteemed teacher somewhere, I always listened to him carefully. Because he was attracting people with his knowledge and style, and he was fascinated by the knowledge he had.”
Minister Nazım Çavuşoğlu said, “Our esteemed teacher was successful in every aspect of his life. Apart from being an exemplary person, he also achieved many successes in academic life and conquered the hearts of many people in this field. Especially the devoted work he has done on the education life of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the countless students he has graduated show us once again how successful he was as an academic today.”
Minister Nazım Çavuşoğlu said that Prof. Dr. Ümit Hassan will always be with his loved ones with his ideas, memories and beauties and added, “Even though the Near East Family seems to have lost a great and important plane tree, this is actually not a loss. Because the biggest feature of plane trees is that new plane trees rise from the roots they release. Many roots took root in Ümit Hassan’s Near East University, which turned into big plane trees. This big plane tree will live forever in the many plane trees it led to taking roots.”
Dr. Erkut Ziya Sivrikaya: “Prof. Dr. Ümit Hassan was a person I took as a figure but never succeeded in imitating. He touched everyone’s hearts with his kindness, knowledge and culture.”
Being an 18-year student of Ümit Hassan, Near East University Law Faculty History of Law Research Assistant Dr. Erkut Ziya Sivrikaya, stating that Ümit Hassan was loved by everyone, further said “Prof. Dr. Ümit Hassan was a person I could never succeed in imitating. He was someone who touched everyone’s hearts with his kindness, knowledge and culture. At the end of the day, real death occurs in oblivion. He was a great treasure that will never be forgotten. I will always continue to be with this big plane tree in my next lessons.”
Stating that Ümit Hassan has a special place in himself, Dr. Erkut Ziya Sivrikaya said, “My teacher was a dedicated Galatasaray fan. His passion for the Near East University was of another magnitude. Every time he started the lesson, he would say, ‘I promise I will speak short,’ but he always spoke long and knew how to make himself listen to the end. He used to say that he was breathing while lecturing.”
Süleyman Gündüz: “Each and every student of Near East University will continue to commemorate our teacher, Ümit Hassan, with love and respect, and to grow by spreading what they learned from him.”
Speaking on behalf of Near East University students, Süleyman Gündüz said, “From the first day I started my education at the Near East University, I have heard and listened to our teacher Ümit Hassan from many of my teachers, many friends, and many people. I have witnessed that our teacher’s name is always remembered with respect, love and smiles.”
Stating that Ümit Hassan is not only the teacher of thousands of students he trained in his field, but also of tens of thousands of students who graduated from tens of faculties of Near East University, Süleyman Gündüz said, “When we look at the stories of important scholars throughout history, the biggest common point is that they specialize in more than one field and they have more than one great achievement. We see that they are groundbreaking people. Our teacher Ümit Hassan was such a teacher. He was a great scholar, a great teacher. Even being under the same roof with such a name was one of the most valuable lessons for a student.”
Süleyman Gündüz said, “Every student of Near East University will continue to commemorate and mention our teacher Ümit Hassan with love and respect, and to grow by spreading what they learned from him.”
Who is Prof. Dr. Ümit Hassan?
Born in 1943 in Istanbul, Prof. Dr. Ümit Hassan worked at Ziraat Bank for four years after graduating from Ankara University, Faculty of Political Sciences. His doctoral subject is “Public Law and State Theories”. Prof. Dr. Hassan taught Public Law and State Theories, Islamic and Turkish Intellectual History, Ottoman Economic-Social-Political Structure, History of Political Thoughts at the Faculty of Political Sciences at Ankara University between 1969-1984. At the doctoral level, he gave lectures on State Theories, Sources in the History of Islam and Turkish Thought, and Contemporary Doctrines. He received the Sedat Simavi Social Sciences Award in 1985. Between 1985-1992, he taught History of Civilization, Ottoman Economic-Social-Political Structure, Political Anthropology, History of Islam and Turkish Thought, Fundamentals of the Social and Legal Structure of Europe at the Middle East Technical University, Ankara University, Faculty of Political Sciences, European Community Center. He carried out the PhD courses on Philosophical Foundations of Political Theories, State Theories, Sources in Islam and Turkish History, History of Turkish Ideas in the 19th-20th Centuries. He wrote many articles on the history of the Turks (starting with the letter ‘K’ in Ana Britannica). Working for the Near East University in Cyprus since 1993, Prof. Dr. Hassan gave undergraduate and graduate courses on Themes in Post-Constitutional Turkish Poetry, History of Ottoman Social-Political-Legal Structure, History of Law, Foundations of Turkish Foreign Policy, Social-Political Structure in Turkish Novel. He has been working as the Rector of Near East University since 2000. Prof. Dr. Ümit Hassan has many books and articles in the fields of History of Turks, History of Islamic Thought, State Theories and Political Anthropology. He also was a dedicated fan of Galatasaray and member of UltrAslan.