Evkaf announce scholarships in the name of late mountaineering hero Birkan Uzun

The Evkaf Administration of Cyprus (Evkaf) has announced they are setting up a special university scholarship fund in memory of Birkan Uzun. The academically gifted Turkish Cypriot had conquered five of the world’s highest mountains before he tragically died in a skiing accident at the end of 2021.

The scholarships, open to all students with citizenship of the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus, is worth three times the yearly minimum wage in North Cyprus.

A total of three scholarships will be awarded. The criteria for those wanting to apply for the scholarship, which is available for the next academic year, is as follows:

  • Have graduated from a TRNC secondary school and be accepted to a higher education institution
  • Post an average academic score of 8.5
  • Have participated voluntarily in sports or non-governmental organisations (a reference letter from the relevant body is also required),

The application to the Evkaf Birkan Uzun Scholarship Fund should include a letter outlining the reasons for their application and their personal goals. The deadline for applications is 20 July 2022.

Students meeting all the criteria will have their applications evaluated by a panel that includes three people from Evkaf, a member of Birkan Uzun’s family, and a member from the TRNC Department of Education. Should there be deadlock on determining which of applications are accepted, priority will be given to a student from a single parent family.

Evkaf had sponsored Birkan Uzun for his international mountain climbs, including his ascent to the top of Mt. Vinson – Antarctica’s highest peak – where he had planted the TRNC flag, making the decision to launch a scholarship in his name all the more apt.

Speaking about the launch of the fund earlier this week, Evkaf Director-General Prof. İbrahim Benter told T-VINE he and his team had met with Birkan Uzun before his final climb to discuss his future ideas and plans.

The young man, who had hoped to climb ‘seven summits on seven continents’, had impressed with his incredible work ethic, “setting an example for our future generations,” said Prof Benter.

“As Evkaf, it is a source of pride for us to offer scholarships to help raise many more Birkans. He accomplished many valuable things in his short life, showing us that, “If we set our goals high and work hard, there is nothing we cannot achieve.”

“For this reason, it is now our duty to both keep the memory of Birkan alive and to create ways that will set an example for our youth,” explained Prof. Benter.