On the occasion of the traditional first lecture, in the presence of the dean, university senate, students and family, after receiving his Professorship for Cardiovascular Surgery, Dr. Tayfun Aybek, expressed his gratitude at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt Germany. The following is translated from the original German. After a 45 minute lecture in the great amphitheater, the dean bestowed the diploma and gown. After this ceremony the newly endowed Professor expressed his gratitude.
“First, to my loving parents, who brought me into the world, from a defenseless baby created a fully mature adult, and have participated in all the happy and difficult events of my life, who always supported me in my every need, who vaccinated me with the skills of responsibility, sensitivity, sacrifice and the love of humanity, who opened all the doors to my progress, my unending gratitude. Before sending me off to University, they said “My son, as your career takes you to higher levels, remain humble ” and so these precious characters have special place in my heart.
To all my teachers from elementary school, for their patience and sacrifice, because they instilled in me through modern teaching the first seeds of scientific objectivity, they made me into a social, tolerant, helpful, humanist, guided by logic they launched me into the world, and to them I owe my gratitude.
In particular, the teachers of the medical faculty at the University of İstanbul, I would like to thank for the high quality of instruction, so that I could go on to compete in the field of medical science even in the most developed countries, they provided me with contact in this country, which enabled me to improve my medical experience, for teaching me the ability to find rational answers for disputed topics. What I received from you was not only medical science, but other things such as an understanding of life and an angle on life. I am forever grateful also for teaching me to struggle with dogma which surrounds us always and everywhere.
First, Prof. Dr. Anton Moritz, the chief of the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, University of Frankfurt, but also all of the faculty, for teaching such excellent surgery without discriminating by race, origin or culture, they truly have teaching in their veins, I owe them my deepest gratitude. Now this man, who was molded by you, will work day and night to heal many patients, thanks to your guidance, he is able to become a university teacher and in his turn guide and educate a new generation. You may be sure that your presence will be felt always at every surgical step throughout my life.
My sincerest gratitude goes to my colleague and right hand, Dr. Selami Doğan, who has supported me in scientific research and projects; he is not only a colleague but my best friend. The studies we worked on together have been published in the best journals in our field, our projects have all been concluded successfully, and have contributed to healing our patients. In our collaboration we have complemented each other and so we hope to continue throughout our lives.
… to all of my assistance (each listed by name) … and then the OR, ICU and patient ward nurses … on behalf of my patients who you untiringly tended day and night … Heart Surgery means not just successfully performing an operation, but having a professional and sacrificing nursing team. I congratulate you on your selfless dedication…
Honored guests, in your presence, my deepest gratitude to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, father of the Turkish nation. Because of his example, I have been enlightened and enabled to see for the first time the differences between objective science and dogma. He was able to stand out above the rest and provide reason and reform using a very simple principle: “Why not?”, his tenacity and diligence were the keys to his success to realize impossible things. Thanks to this influence I have been accepted and integrated into European and American society, with respect as a Turk. Thanks to him, I am proud to be a Turk and am able to say this today in this distinguished company. Perhaps for many people, he is “only” a war hero and statesman, but I am one of his “grandchildren” who understands him completely.
My loving son, do not thing that I had forgotten you in my busy work schedule. I know that you understand everything that is going on around you. I have often left you alone with the statement: “Papa has to go to heal somebody” and had to cancel our games. Sorry about that … I would like to thank you for always allowing me to go, even when we could not see each other for a long time, you always run to me with a happy smile, allowing me to savor the joy of fatherhood.
Honored guests, why in such a speech of thanks is the wife left until last? Very simple: There are no words left to express this emotion. My dear, the most important support in both my professional and private life is that you are there for me… I can not list here the support you have shown me… You have taught me the things which are not in the university books. You have made sacrifices in every moment of our life together, you vaccinated me against self criticism, your pride in me, you helped me pace my self when necessary, and you are always by my side… my unceasing thanks.
Your lifelong friendship is the best prize I can receive…
…. I love you all…
My thanks to every body who has come here for me...
With my greatest respect „