The President of the Republic of Turkey, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during an official visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina, visited International university of Sarajevo (IUS). He was accompanied by his delegation and the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Bakir Izetbegovic.
On this occasion, Mr Erdogan was assigned an honorary doctorate in recognition of his overall work so far, for his outstanding contributions to building a more humane society, promoting dignity, and a culture of dialogue in Europe and the world. With this recognition, the Foundation for Education Development Sarajevo (SEDEF) and the International University of Sarajevo, once again confirmed the historical, social, cultural and political ties of our two countries.
The president and his delegation were welcomed by the president of SEDEF, Mr. Hasan Topaloğlu, the president of the Board of Trustees Dr. Hasan Zuhuri Sarikaya and IUS Rector Prof. Dr. Ahmet Yıldırım.
The ceremony was held at the IUS main hall. The Honorary Doctorate was presented to President Erdoğan by the Rector of IUS, Prof. Dr. Ahmet Yildirim. In his speech, Rector Yildirim said:
We have come together today for an event that brings much honor to our university. We will present an Honorary Doctorate Degree to Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the Republic of Turkey, a leader who impacted on today’s world in terms of human rights, humanity, democracy and international relations. This is not just an honorary degree presentation event, bearing rather a much deeper meaning.
Prof Dr Yıldırım then went on to describe the role President Erdogan played in international politics and his impact, stating President Erdogan became the hope of downtrodden peoples regardless of religious background. Continuing his speech with a brief description of IUS, Prof Dr Yildirim explained that ` International University of Sarajevo was established in 2004 by SEDEF Foundation with a view to enhancing the bonds of brotherhood between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Turkey, to bring the two nations closer together, and to provide quality education in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Continuing its growth for the past 14 years, our university today offers education to 1650 students from 56 countries with academicians representing 12 countries. With our internationally accredited English Language School and 6 programs, we constantly strive to increase the bar of excellence. Our multi-national and multi-cultural staff and student body work harmoniously together under the banner of the late Izetbegovic: “Our slogan is; love your own, respect the other.”
Prof Yildirim concluded his remarks by saying `The interest of our President, who has played a leading role in the establishment of our university with his appeal, has been apparent since IUS was founded and gives us strength and encourages us to do better.
As an expression of our gratitude to you, I reiterate my pleasure in expressing my gratitude for presenting an honorary doctorate in the field of International Relations for your contributions to humanity, democracy, human rights and international politics.
Prof Dr Yildirim then presented the Honorary Degree to President Erdogan and draped across his shoulders his gown.
On the occasion of the honorary doctorate award, the President of the Republic of Turkey briefly addressed the distinguished guests, professors, and students. He said: "It is a great pleasure for me to be here with you, especially on this occasion. I will carry with honor the title you gave me today. In the time we live in, we need young leaders who must have the broad education. Bosnia and Herzegovina just needs that kind of young people to whom the future will be left at behest. It is with this idea that we give a scholarship to students, who by studying different sciences and subjects, with their knowledge strengthen their country. Today I am glad to be a guest under the roof of the Foundation for Education Development Sarajevo SEDEF, which gives the best fruits of vision for the education of young people. SEDEF offers education at all levels from elementary, secondary to higher education. I tell young people - do not be satisfied with the classical education you get at college. Let your deeds be gigantic, but you work for them as ants. "
At the end of ceremony, tokens of appreciation were given to President Erdogan and President Izetbegovic by the President of SEDEF, Mr Hasan Topaloglu, and president of Board of Trustees Dr. Hasan Zuhuri Sarikaya.
Many prominent figures from social, cultural, political and educational life were present at this ceremony.