Special Guest of TASSA 2018 Conference, Ilhan Basgoz

I was born in Gemerek during the barley harvesting season of 1921.  My father, Hasan Başgöz was a teacher at the Republican Elementary School of Gemerek. My mother, Lady Zeycan is from Cadoğlu Turkmens. Until my fourth grade, I studied at the same school. My father retired in 1932, and we moved to Sivas. My grandfather, Memo Agha let the huge trees of the Zara forest be chopped down and floated on the Kızılırmak river to sell them in Sivas. It should’ve been a good trade as he has built an almighty house with haremlik and selamlik. We moved to this house when we came to Sivas. I studied my last year of elementary school at the Hafiz Recep Elementary School. When I was in the second year of middle school, our school became co-ed. It took us a long time to get used to be in the same classroom with girls. I finished middle and high school in Sivas. In 1937, Atatürk came to our class, and this is one of my unforgettable memories. During the 1939 academic year, I was the only student to have graduated from high school. I studied Turkish Language and Literature in the Language and History-Geography Faculty, and I have graduated in 1944. Through military service, being a literature teacher in Tokat High School, getting fired from my job, and getting imprisoned, I reached the year of 1961. I became a researcher in the School of Education of California University for two years with a grant that I won from the Ford Foundation and I wrote my book The Educational Problems of Turkey. After having worked at the Berkeley Campus as a lecturer for two years consecutively, I joined the Indiana University as an assistant professor in 1965. I worked as a professor at the Indiana University until I got retired in 1997. After I got retired, I went back to my homeland. First I gave lectures as a visiting professor at Bilkent University and then at Van Yüzüncü Yıl University. After having worked at Van for 12 years, I transferred to Middle East Technical University. Now I give lectures at this university for three months of the year, then I come back to Indiana and continue my studies at Indiana University. I was married; however, my wife Bedia passed away in 1997. I have two daughters. Aslı is a lawyer and a partner of the international law firm White and Case. Nesli is a chief surgeon at the Harvard University. I may be considered as old, and I can’t foresee what will happen in the future.