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COVID-19 & Campus Updates

Bilkent University has taken and is continuing to take various precautionary measures to ensure that all students and employees can continue to study and work in a safe environment.

Bilkent University vaccination rates

Vaccination rates are based on the number of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, and researchers authorized to be on campus for the fall semester.

98.4% of Students Vaccinated
(October 2021)


Guidelines to faculty and students regarding Covid-19 (22.09.2021)


Vaccination and Test Tracking System (15.09.2021)

Dear Members of Bilkent Community,

As indicated in Rector Atalar’s earlier messages to the Bilkent community, Bilkent University is returning to a face-to-face teaching format starting this Fall Semester. As a further health precaution, vaccine requirements will be effective throughout all campus facilities.

The university requires all teaching faculty, staff, and students present on campus to be fully vaccinated. Those who have a recent Covid-19 history will be exempt from vaccination requirements for a period of one month following their recovery. Those who remain unvaccinated should provide a negative PCR or Diagnovir test before their campus presence, at their own cost. Results of both tests will be valid for 72 hours after they become available.

To continually monitor health risks on campus, the university developed a service (Vaccination and Test Tracking System – VTTS) to keep track of HES code risk status, vaccination status, and Covid-19 test results of all staff and students. Academic staff, administrative staff, and students should use the “HES Code (VTTS)” button to reach this service from AIRS, BAIS, and SRS services, respectively.

VTTS shows the campus access status of the user as “allowed” or “not-allowed” depending on their HES risk, vaccination status, and Covid-19 test results. Staff and students with a risky HES code due to a positive test result or close contact with someone who has tested positive will not be allowed on campus. Likewise, those who do not satisfy the vaccination requirement and fail to provide a negative test result will not be able to enter the campus.

To satisfy the vaccination requirement, one should have completed at least two doses of vaccination, with a minimum of a 14-days elapsed after the second dose. Individuals who have had their first doses and are currently waiting for their second dose and those who have had their second dose less than 14 days ago, have to provide negative Covid-19 test results every 72 hours until 14 days have elapsed after their second dose. These individuals can be tested with Diagnovir free of charge at Bilkent for a duration of 50 days after the administration of their first dose.

Staff and students choosing to remain unvaccinated can get the Diagnovir test at the cost of 60 TL at Bilkent University or get a PCR test elsewhere. Test results will be automatically uploaded to VTTS, since HES code risk and Covid-19 test status are automatically retrieved from the Ministry of Health database.

Each user has to upload their “vaccination cards” to the VTTS system. Details of creating vaccination cards in PDF form from either the “Life Fits Into Home” app or via the “e-nabız” website can be seen by clicking the “how-to” button on the VTTS page. Once uploaded, types and dates of vaccines immediately become visible. Those who were vaccinated abroad can scan and upload the image of their vaccination certificates by clicking the “add vaccination abroad” button.

All staff and students are expected to upload their vaccination cards by 5:30 PM, Friday, September 17, 2021.

We hope to see all Bilkenters be fully vaccinated to have a safe campus environment for everyone and wish you all a wonderful academic year.

Bilkent University



Rector’s Message on Covid-19 (23.08.2021)

Dear Students, Faculty Members, and Staff,

As I am sure you have heard, the government has decided to begin face-to-face education at all levels starting this September and is requiring everybody to be either vaccinated against Covid-19 or provide a negative PCR test at least twice a week. Consequently, universities in Turkey are returning to face-to-face education this fall and instituting vaccine requirements.

We have now decided to hold all lectures, laboratories, studios, midterm and final exams, and other evaluation activities at Bilkent in a face-to-face format starting this Fall Semester.

Vaccine requirements will be effective throughout all campus facilities, in addition to current Covid-19 measures that are already in place. Face mask use will continue to be mandatory across the whole campus including classrooms, laboratories, and studios. The university will continue checking HES codes and taking appropriate action for isolating risky cases.

We require all teaching faculty, staff, and students present on campus to be fully vaccinated. The clinical benefits of vaccination in both reducing the probability of transmission and the risk of severe symptoms are well documented. I would like to urge all students and staff to complete their vaccination as soon as possible. Our Health Center notes that those who were vaccinated with Sinovac would be better protected with a third dose of the Biontech vaccine. Also note that, persons who are 16 years of age or older now qualify for vaccination in Turkey.

Those who choose to remain unvaccinated may still use campus facilities and engage in academic activities here, provided they present a negative PCR or Diagnovir (administered by Felisya at Bilkent for ₺60 per test for students and staff) test that was carried out at most one day before their campus presence, at their own cost. Both tests will be considered to be valid for 72 hours after the test result becomes available, after which a new test will be required. We also understand that PCR tests may be available free of charge for university staff and students at state hospitals.

We are also working on a periodic screening scheme (using Diagnovir) for vaccinated students and staff.

Please note that there have been some changes in the 2021-22 Academic Calendar. Fall Semester classes will now begin on 22 September, Wednesday. Please check the online Academic Calendar at https://www.bilkent.edu/bilkent/academic-calendar/ for other important dates.

I wish you all a healthy academic year.

Abdullah Atalar


May 29, 2020 Update
May 14, 2020 Update
March 27, 2020 Update
March 24, 2020 Update
– March 17, 2020 Update
– March 16, 2020 Update
– March 13, 2020 Update
– March 13, 2020 Update
– March 11, 2020 Update
– March 10, 2020 Update
– March 09, 2020 Update (Rector’s Message)
– March 05, 2020 Update
– March 04, 2020 Update


Library Working Hours (May 29, 2020)

Due to the COVID-19 normalization process decisions, the opening hours of the Bilkent University Library will be changed. Main Campus Library will be open only to the Bilkent University members from 01 June 2020, between 08:30-17:00 on weekdays. Our users can benefit from the library by applying to the Circulation Desk and Reference Desk on the ground floor. East Campus Library will be closed.


2019-2020 Summer School (May 14, 2020)

2019-2020 Summer School at Bilkent University will be held in a distance learning format and all courses will be delivered synchronously through the Zoom platform. Accordingly, students who consider taking summer school courses need to ensure that they will have access to necessary hardware and internet infrastructure throughout the summer period.


Library Usage During COVID-19 Outbreak (March 27, 2020)

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 outbreak, Bilkent University Library will be open only to the Bilkent members living on the Bilkent Campus, between 11.00-13.00 on Fridays.
Library will be closed all users, includes Bilkent members living out of the Bilkent Campus.
In order to prevent our users from being in a difficult situation, Bilkent University Library has renewed the library materials until 06.04.2020.
During this time East Campus Library will be closed.


Restaurant Delivery Service Suspension (March 24, 2020)

As part of COVID-19 precautions, delivery services by all restaurants (including those operating on campus) to Bilkent University campus are suspended effective as of 12:00 PM, Wednesday, March 25, 2020. No restaurant delivery service vehicles will be allowed on campus.


Library working hours (March 17, 2020)
Bilkent University Library working hours have been reduced to be 9:00 – 11:00 for weekdays starting on March 17. The Library will be closed on weekends.


International Travel Restrictions (March 16, 2020)

As part of the measures taken against COVID-19, the Council of Higher Education decided on March 13, 2020, to prohibit all international travel for academic and administrative staff in higher education institutions, including travel plans that had been made earlier. Bilkent University decided to implement this restriction to include international travel by graduate students as well.

In case international travel is absolutely necessary, an application with a clear rationale should be submitted to bilkentadm@bilkent.edu.tr so as to be evaluated by the University Executive Committee.

In addition, short-term research visits from international destinations to our university are halted until further notice.


Coronavirus measures (March 13, 2020)

  • Bilkent University Sports Centers will be closed during the March 14 – April 5 period.
  • Bilkent University Library working hours have been reduced to be 9:00 – 17:00 for weekdays and weekends during the March 14 – April 5 period.
  • According to a decision by the Higher Education Council, until further notice all international travel is prohibited for academic and administrative university staff.


Coronavirus Break Information (March 13, 2020)

In order to contain the spread of coronavirus disease, Turkey has decided to temporarily halt instruction at all universities for three weeks starting March 16, 2020, Monday.

Students are expected to spend this three-week period at their permanent addresses in Turkey and refrain from coming and going to the university. International students who do not have a permanent address in Turkey are advised not to travel to their country and stay in Turkey.

Currently, the university remains open for academic and administrative staff. All university services are planned to continue as they would at inter-semester periods.

Graduate students are expected to be in communication with their advisors and continue their research and thesis work.

Midterm exams and other academic activities scheduled for March 13-14-15 will proceed as planned.

All classes, mid-term exams and similar academic activities that were previously scheduled for March 16 through April 5 have been postponed.

In order to help measures taken to prevent the spread of the disease, it is recommended that students refrain from traveling around and avoid crowded places during this three-week period.

All students and staff are expected to keep checking their STARS-registered e-mail addresses for further announcements. Universities are expected to resume teaching on April 6, 2020, Monday.


Coronavirus and COVID-19 Update (March 11, 2020)
Bilkent University Procedures for Covid-19 Prevention

Bilkent University has decided to intensify precautionary measures taken against Covid-19, now that the first coronavirus disease case in Turkey has been reported.

Bilkent faculty and staff are strongly urged to cancel any prior international travel plans that they may have made and refrain from making new ones. Faculty and staff members who must travel internationally are now required to provide details of their travel plans to the university prior to their departure by filling out the online form at the link below.

Starting on March 11, 2020, we request all faculty and staff members who return from international travel to place themselves in self-isolation for fourteen days at their homes, regardless of any symptoms being present. If they develop any flu-like symptoms (fever, coughing, shortness of breath), they should immediately contact Bilkent University Health Center by calling 290-1666.

Those in self-isolation should adhere to the following measures for 14 days:
• staying at home and avoiding all contact with other people
• not going to work, school, shopping areas or any public space in general
• not using university shuttle and public transportation
• not having any visitors

During the period of self-isolation, faculty members are expected to continue performing their teaching commitments using online tools and methods.

International travel declaration form: https://bais.bilkent.edu.tr/covid-travel-form/

Abdullah Atalar


Coronavirus and COVID-19 Update (March 10, 2020)

As part of the precautionary measures taken by Bilkent University against coronavirus disease (Covid-19), concerts by the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra on March 14th, 21st, 28th and April 3rd, 2020 are now cancelled.

Tickets will be refunded.

We thank you for your understanding.


Rector’s Message on Covid-19

Bilkent University Procedures for Covid-19 Prevention (March 9, 2020)

The situation regarding the global spread of the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is developing very quickly, with many countries experiencing a rapid increase in diagnosed cases. So far, no reported cases exist in Turkey. However, with an approaching 5-day break in the academic calendar, we have felt the urge to take some precautions to lower the risk of infection within Bilkent community. Bilkent University has decided to implement the following measures, effective immediately.

  1. I strongly advise students and staff members to refrain from international travel. Bilkent community members who return from abroad may be asked to follow 14-day self-isolation requirements of the Ministry of Health.
    Please see: https://twitter.com/drfahrettinkoca/status/1236759904137994240
  2. If you have to travel, please adhere to all necessary safety precautions and report your itinerary including dates and places of travel to bilheal@bilkent.edu.tr as soon as possible.
  3. University/business related international travel is not permitted until further notice.
  4. Please note that many airlines (including Turkish Airlines and Pegasus Airlines) allow their passengers to postpone their travel dates without incurring any penalties.

We are going to inform Bilkent community regularly regarding measures against Covid-19.

I wish you all healthy days.

Abdullah Atalar

Coronavirus and COVID-19 Update (March 05, 2020)

Today, on social media and some online sources, there have been reports about an international Bilkent University student being transferred to hospital with high fever directly from the airport upon his return from his home country and later being diagnosed with coronavirus disease.  Other sources have alluded to a suspected coronavirus infection case, based on reports about a Bilkent student who was seen being transported in an ambulance while wearing a protective mask.

The news about the international student are completely unfounded. The other student actually came to the Bilkent University East Campus Health Center on 04.03.2020 with complaints of fever and respiratory distress. This student was transferred to Ankara City Hospital under precautionary measures. According to information received from hospital officials, doctors saw no need to test the student for coronavirus and the patient was discharged.

There are currently no Bilkent students who are diagnosed with coronovirus disease. Bilkent University continues to take all necessary measures for the health of its students and employees.

Coronavirus and COVID-19 Update (March 04, 2020)

The new coronavirus, which first appeared in Wuhan, China, in mid-December 2019, has since spread from there to many other countries.

Some links providing access to detailed information about this virus and COVID-19 (the disease it causes) are listed here:

Although there are no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Turkey, Bilkent University has taken and is continuing to take various precautionary measures to ensure that all students and employees can continue to study and work in a safe environment.

The Bilkent University Health Center has begun monitoring students (including international and exchange students) who are arriving from or have recently visited those countries where COVID-19 cases are present, with reference to their date of entry into Turkey and the date when cases appeared in those countries. Students who are required to undergo COVID-19 testing in accordance with the criteria stipulated by the Ministry of Health are sent to Ankara City Hospital. COVID-19 has not been discovered in any Bilkent member who has been tested to date.

All Bilkent students and staff who have returned to Turkey after traveling abroad must email bilheal@bilkent.edu.tr and provide information about the dates and places of their travel. This information will guide the evaluation and follow-up of those with flu-like symptoms.

Students or employees who show signs of fever, cough or shortness of breath should report to the Health Center immediately, even if they have not traveled abroad.

All members of the university cleaning staff have been trained in enhanced cleaning procedures. Particular attention is paid to the cleaning of frequently touched surfaces, and frequent checks of cleaning procedures are conducted.

How to Protect Yourself from Coronavirus

Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Frequently touched objects and surfaces should be disinfected by wiping with a normal household cleaning spray.

Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue or the crook of your arm. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Getting plenty of sleep, being physically active and eating nutritious food will also strengthen your immunity.

Healthy people are not required to wear a mask. Only those who show signs of flu infection should wear a mask.