Hacettepe University did not forget February 6th.

On the 1st anniversary of the earthquakes that occurred on February 6, 2023, centered in Kahramanmaraş and affecting 11 provinces, a commemoration ceremony was held at our university. The ceremony, organized in memory of the 17 Hacettepe University students we lost and all the citizens who lost their lives in the earthquakes, began with a musical performance of two elegy types composed for our losses by Prof. Dr. Cenk Güray from Ankara State Conservatory and Ata Sıvacı.

Following the music performance, İsmail Özsandıkcı, the Vice President of the Student Representatives Council of our university, delivered a speech. Expressing the longing for their friends who lost their lives in the earthquake, Özsandıkcı stated, "They were not just names but memories, dreams, and hopes they shared with their loved ones throughout their lives. They were not only those who lived in the past but also the future leaders, doctors, artists, and scientists. They left a deep void in our hearts, and today, we remember them with longing. After this earthquake, we came together to mend our broken hearts. As a part of this community, we must appreciate the value of every life we lost and keep their memory alive."

During the ceremony, Prof. Dr. Ahmet Serper, the Vice Rector of our university, also made a speech, saying, "On the morning of February 6, 2023, we woke up to a dark day. A year has passed since the earthquake disaster, with magnitudes of 7.8 and 7.5, affecting 11 provinces. Our fellow citizens, who suffered great wounds in both spirit and body, lost their families, loved ones, and homes. In this earthquake disaster that caused significant losses, our university mourns the loss of 17 students. We still feel this indescribable pain in our hearts, and we remember them with longing."

Prof. Dr. Ahmet Serper emphasized the unity and solidarity of Hacettepe University students after the earthquake, summarizing the contributions of the university as follows: "On the day after the earthquake disaster, about 80 doctors and healthcare personnel from our university volunteered to work in hospitals in the earthquake-stricken areas. Our faculty members from the Departments of Civil Engineering and Geomatics Engineering were assigned to participate in damage assessment studies in the region. A scientific committee formed under the coordination of the Archaeology Department conducted inspections for the status of archaeological excavation sites and historical sites affected by the earthquakes. Our hospitals opened their doors to earthquake victims, healing their wounds. All Hacettepe members, including students, academics, and administrative staff, came together; 7 trucks containing materials needed by earthquake victims were delivered to the regions, and support continues in various aspects such as aid campaigns, social services, and accommodation to alleviate their pains, even if only to some extent."

Providing information about one of the university's projects, the Malatya Life Good Living Center, Prof. Dr. Ahmet Serper stated that many university staff continued to volunteer at the center with the aim of supporting individuals affected by the earthquake and ensuring social integration in the short term, and contributing to the increase in the region's welfare in the medium to long term.

After the speeches, carnations were laid at the Vefa Monument, bearing the names of the 17 students who lost their lives, to commemorate their memory.