Turgut Özal Association unveils museum plans at iftar dinner

August 24, 2011, Wednesday/ 14:48:00

Turgut Özal Association for Thought and Action Chairman Galip Demirel has announced that the association is planning to open a Turgut Özal Museum next to his memorial grave.

During the Turgut Özal Association traditional iftar (fast-breaking dinner) held at Turgut Özal University on Tuesday, Demirel announced that they were planning to open the museum to ensure that Özal's ideas, insights and services are remembered and appreciated and that his vision is kept alive. He also recalled that the association has proposed changing the name of Ankara Esenboğa Airport to Turgut Özal Airport.

Former Justice Minister Oltan Sungurlu, Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) President Davut Dursun, Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) Şeş coordinator Fethullah Kırşan, former Ankara Governor Kemal Önal and several other guests attended the dinner, to which Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sent a message.

The program began with the recitation of several passages from the Quran and Demirel later delivered a speech. Noting that the aim of the association is to promote Özal's ideas, insights and services in younger generations, Demirel gave information about the association's activities. “We organized our first mevlid, a congregational Muslim ceremony in which poems written by Süleyman Çelebi celebrating the birth of the Prophet Muhammad are recited, at Kocatepe Mosque in Ankara on the 14th anniversary of the death of former President Turgut Özal. Although it was a very cold day, more than 100,000 people attended the mevlid. And more than 200,000 people attended the mevlid that we organized the same year at Sultanahmet Mosque,” he said.

Recalling that the association has organized painting and essay contests in honor of the late president, Demirel noted that they will publish a book containing the award-winning paintings and essays.

Speaking at the event, Turgut Özal University Rector Erol Oral expressed satisfaction in the enrollment numbers at the university this year. He also announced that the university would start accepting students to their faculty of medicine next year. “The medium of instruction at the university is Turkish, but we have started to use English to teach as a pilot program in some departments and we aim to increase the number of these departments,” he added.

Sungurlu addressed the attendees after Oral's speech. Indicating that Özal always believed in change, he said, “He transformed Turkey within a short time and put forward an important vision for the country.”

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