Innovation Prize from the Leiden Entrepreneur Fund for Asiye Gedik and Nejla Bekdur

Asiye Gedik and Nejla Bekdur have been awarded the first Innovation Prize by the Leiden Entrepreneur Fund. The co-founders of the Turkish-Dutch Biruni student association were presented with the prize on 13 November. The Biruni student association brings students into contact with the city of Leiden and with Leiden entrepreneurs.

Contact between students and entrepreneurs

Nejla Bekdur and Asiye Gedik

Nejla Bekdur and Asiye Gedik

Gedik and Bekdur set up the Turkish-Dutch student association Biruni in 2009, with a view to encouraging students to play an active role in the city. Contact with entrepreneurs is one aspect of this aim. Ex-alderman and outgoing chairman of the Leiden Entrepreneur Fund Aad van Bochove presented the Innovation Prize in Café De Stal and praised the initiative of the Biruni student association as 'innovative'.

Giving up your free time

The students were both pleased and proud. 'We have had to give up a lot of our free time,'commented Nejla Bekdur. 'This prize is a real encouragement.' With the 2,500 euro prize money the students will have a book published for students and entrepreneurs.

Role models

The Consul-General for Turkey Togan Oral and the Vice-Rector Magnificus of Leiden University Simone Buitendijk were also present at the presentation of the prize. Consul-General Oral said he was impressed by the enthusiasm of the Turkish-Dutch students to play a part in the society of their home country, while at the same time maintaining close relations with their native country. 'Young Turkish people need role models, and these young female students are certainly a good role model,' commented the Consul-General.

This prize is also regarded as significant in Turkey, as was demonstrated by the number of Turkish journalists present.


Word of thanks by Asiye Gedik and Nejla Bekdur

'The presentation of the Leiden Innovation Prize is a wonderful experience for us. We want to thank everyone for such a great event, in particular Aart van Bochove and the Leiden Entrepreneur Fund for awarding the prize. We would also like to thank Mr Togan Oral, Consul General of Turkey, and Simone Buitendijk, Vice-Rector of Leiden University, for always having supported us. We would like to thank Mr Durmus Dogan (Turkish Entrepreneurs Association Rijnland), Kaya Kocak (Rabobank Nederland), Ali Bekdur (HOTIAD) for otheir support since the foundatin of Biruni.'

SV Biruni
'We have received this prize also on behalf of the (first) members of Biruni, the representatives, former committee members and prsent committee of Biruni. We also thank you all, our members. It is because of you that we are receiving this award! Biruni plays an innovative, entrepreneurial, challenging and leading role. There is a place for each and every student who is active, innovative, enthusiastic and committed. Join Biruni, we will always be there for you! We will do our utmost to publish a book within a year so that you can all continue to follow us. It will not be a boring book, that we can promise!'

(Source: facebook SV Biruni)

Zie ook

(16 november 2012/ MvG, CH)

Studeren in Leiden


Middle Eastern Studies - Turkish Studies

Last Modified: 19-11-2012