(February 7, 2023)
After yesterday’s earthquakes in the southeast of our country, we experienced great destruction and human loss as a country. Our pain and sorrow are immense.
It is natural for people to feel empty on such painful days and question their purpose. Especially our students who have relatives in the region are going through very difficult days. We are aware that even if they do not have relatives in the earthquake region, our other students are trying to be with their friends who are directly affected, that they take part in the relief processes, and that the magnitude of the disaster deeply saddens them.
We know it is difficult to focus on everyday life in these difficult times. Being aware of this situation, we have been in contact with the administrators and members of our Faculties and Departments since yesterday to be flexible and understanding about attendance and other course obligations, especially this week. If you are going to feel better or want to take a more active part in earthquake relief efforts, I want you to know that it is natural not to attend classes for a few days. Our instructors will postpone the responsibilities of their courses, such as attendance, homework, and quizzes, and create the necessary space to cope with the deep sadness you are experiencing.
On the other hand, it is essential that we continue holding our classes under the conditions I mentioned above to keep students and faculty members together as a community and to provide support to each other. Our faculty members will decide the pace of this week’s class sessions in the most appropriate way, considering the conditions we are in and the proportion of students who feel ready to come to class. Again, starting next week, our professors will do their best to ensure that our students who cannot come to class this week do not experience any loss of learning by implementing the support mechanisms (additional lessons, recitation, spare hour use, etc.) that students may need.
I hope to leave these difficult days behind by supporting each other. I extend my deepest condolences to those who have lost loved ones and wish a speedy recovery to all who are injured.