Veteran journalist Doğan Hızlan receives title of honorary doctorate

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Veteran journalist Doğan Hızlan has been awarded the title of honorary doctorate by Istanbul’s prominent Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University (MSGSÜ) at a ceremony.

The ceremony, where the 139th anniversary of the founding of the university was celebrated, was held yesterday.

Hızlan, dubbed the “president of literature,” was presented the title of honorary doctorate for his contributions to the arts and literature.

The ceremony, held at the Osman Hamdi Bey Hall on the Fındıklı Campus of the university, started with Rector Professor Handan İnci Elçi’s speech.

MSGSÜ was founded on March 2, 1882 as Turkey’s first institution of higher education in the field of arts, design and architecture with the efforts of the archaeologist, art historian, museum artist and painter Osman Hamdi Bey and upon the order of the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II.

Elçi said they decided to give Hızlan the award because of his decades-long efforts for Turkey’s arts and culture world.

“With his books, articles, interviews, television programs since the 1950s, Hızlan has carried out an effective activity to promote artistic production and spread art to social layers in accordance with the mission of our university. He has contributed to the development of the cultural environment in subjects such as music, painting, sculpture, opera, cinema, theater and especially literature,” Elçi said.

Following the speech, a video on Hızlan was also shown at the ceremony.

Reminding that he was born and raised in the Kocamustafapaşa neighborhood of Istanbul, Hızlan said, “I was the only child of not only my parents but also of my larger family. My father was a true Istanbul gentleman. I learned how to dress well and eat mannerly from my father, to look at life differently, to be open-minded from my Cretan grandmother, to look deeply into life from my mother, and to love it from my aunts.”

Hızlan said he had granted many awards as a jury member several times, but had been the receiver of only a few awards.

“It is nice to be rewarded at certain periods of life. There is the work of my teachers and friends in this robe. If I try to count their names, it won’t end until the morning,” he added.

Even though Hızlan, a graduate of Istanbul’s historic Pertevniyal High School, was a student at Istanbul University’s Faculty of Law, his interest and passion lied in literature, as he took and spent more time at the Faculty of Letters.

“Most of our friends from the 1950 generation have died. I could not write good poems, stories or novels like them, but I also became the critic of this generation. I wrote the introductions for all the books prepared on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the 50th Generation. This is one of my biggest consolations in life.”

Hurriyet Daily News

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