Prof. Dr. Hüseyin GÖKÇEKUŞ

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Prof. Dr. Hüseyin Gökçekuş was born in Nicosia on 23rd December 1960. He completed his primary and secondary education in Cyprus.

He completed his undergraduate education at the Department of Geological Engineering of Faculty of Sciences in Ankara University in 1982. He commenced his M.Sc. studies at Middle East Technical University (METU) under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Vedat Doyuran, and completed his studies after the submission of his M.Sc. thesis titled “Hydrogeology of Western Konya Plain and Interpretation of Groundwater Level Fluctuations” in 1984. During his years of postgraduate study, he started to work as a Research Assistant at METU in 1983 and in June1990, he completed his PhD at the Department of Geological Engineering with his thesis titled as “Hydro-geological and Hydro-geochemical Evaluation of the Güzelyurt Groundwater Basin- TRNC”; which was once again supervised by Prof. Dr. Vedat Doyuran.

Following the completion of his Ph.D. studies, he left METU, where he had conducted his studies and worked as a research assistant for 7 years, and returned to the TRNC in December 1990 to carry out his two-year military service in Yeşilırmak. Upon completion of his service in March 1992, he started to work as a lecturer at Near East University (NEU) where he worked for almost twenty years, until he was appointed as the Head of Higher Education Board of TRNC (YÖDAK). He was promoted to the rank of Assistant Professor in 1992; to the rank of Associate Professor in 1994; and to the rank of Professor in 2001.

He was appointed to the rank of Assistant Professor in 1992, to Associate Professor in 1994 and finally to the rank of Professor in 2001. Throughout his career life at the Near East University, he has been assigned to various duties. He was first appointed as the Head of Department of Civil Engineering, a department to which he helped establish; Head of Department of Student Affairs; as Acting Rector; as General Secretary of the University; and as Vice Rector. Furthermore, he has been a Head of the Disciplinary Board of the University; Member of the University Senate; and as Member of the NEU Managing Board.

In addition to editing many books, Professor Dr. Hüseyin Gökçekuş has more than 80 publications on significant issues of the country such as water, environment, earthquakes, tourism and education; published mostly in international journals. In 2003 his article titled “Pollution of Coastal Region Impacted by Acid Mine Drainage in Morpou Bay, Northern Cyprus” was published in one of the most prestigious journals of the world- Journal of Environmental Science and Health Part A. Furthermore, according to the report put by the search engine, his article has been selected among the 20 most-searched articles in its relative field for many years.

Moreover, world-renowned publishing house Springer published his book titled as “Survival and Sustainability: Environmental Concerns in the 21st Century”. Within 20 months, the chapters of this book were downloaded 5944 times and broke a hard-to-beat record; it became one of the top 25 books of which chapters were mostly downloaded on Springer. By 2017, the number of times that the chapters of this book have been downloaded had reached fifteen thousand. He is currently on the editorial board of Environmental Earth Sciences Journal of Springer.

Professor Gökçekuş has made more than 140 presentations at scientific meetings mainly in Turkey and in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, alongside with South Cyprus, Sweden, France, Greece, United States, Italy, Austria, Morocco, Azerbaijan, England, Norway, Indonesia, Russia, Malta, Germany, Croatia, Kirghizstan and Brazil.

During his career, he has shared, via the written and visual press, his scientific work with great masses and has been interviewed by over 60 press and publication institutions including the National press; by the Turkish Press; BBC Television; The Guardian, European Voice; and many other institutions alike including ones from Germany and Italy where his opinion columns have been published. On 29th February 2012, his work on “Drinking water of TRNC; the Project of this Century” was published in the ORSAM Journal, and his interview on 4-5 April 2013 where he described how the water will be brought to TRNC from Turkey with an underwater piping system, was published in the International Herald Tribune and in the New York Times, and drew attention world-wide.

Prof Dr Gökçekuş has run the presidency of many national and international symposiums and congresses on “water”, “earthquake”, “environment”, “education”, “health” and tourism”; furthermore he has been assigned as part of the Scientific Boards and Consultation and Organisation Committees of various national and international organisations.

Alongside his scientific work which he has carried out over twenty five years; he has played significant roles in holding many national and international congresses, conferences, seminars, panels and workshops hosted by the Near East University, therefore promoting both NEU and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) at international platforms. Additionally, his scientific works have been referenced many times and Prof. Dr. Gökçekuş has successfully represented the TRNC at scientific meetings held around the world.

He has twice obtained Cyprus-American Scholarship Program Short Term Training Grants given by the USA – Cyprus Fulbright Commission; one of them being on “Environmental Assessment of Abandoned Mine Sites” between 4 August – 10 September 1994, and the other being on “Integrated Water Resources Management” between 7 April – 10 May 2003. During these short-term courses, he carried out his studies with the most prestigious scientists at the most prestigious universities and institutions of the USA such as the University of Vermont, VT, California Polytechnic University Pomona, CA, Yale University, New Haven CT and Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY. He has also carried out his studies at the centres of the United States Geological Survey Institution (USGS), which is one of the most important institutions of the USA, in various states of the USA (Headquarters, Washington D.C., National Centre, Reston, VA., U.S. Geological Survey water Resources, Division California District, Sacramento, CA., U.S. Geological Federal Centre, Denver, CO.). Furthermore, he has been engaged in studies with scientists and official staff of several scientific and environmental institutions in both California and Denver on various water and geological sources, and has carried out several observations in laboratories and terrain analyses.

Prof. Dr. Gökçekuş has attended several international workshops and courses, and has been awarded with certificates of participation and contribution. Some of these include “IBM, PC Applications in Ground Water Pollution and Hydrology”, in Boston, Massachusetts, from 14 to19 August 1994; “Joint Seismic Observation Period (JSOP) workshop” in Southern Cyprus from 15 to 17 May 1995; “Workshop on Seismic Hazard in the Mediterranean Region Earthquake Ground Shaking Maps and their Applications” from 3 to7 May 1999; “Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s (MDFD) Training for Instructor (TFI)”, a workshop organized at the J.W. Fulbright Centre in the Buffer Zone in Nicosia, from 26 to 30 March 2001; “Integrated Water Resources Management” workshop given by the US Bureau of Reclamation of the Ministry of Interior, from 7 to 11 April 2003; “Water Management Issues” workshop given by the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, from 14 to 29 April 2003; “Understanding the European Union” course given by the E.U. Information Centre in Nicosia from 2 to 4 June 2004; “A Study of the European Union” course from 9 to 11 June 2004; and a “Consensus in European Union” course from 16 to 18 June 2004.

Prof. Dr. Gökçekuş was awarded the “Outstanding Service Award” by the Union of Turkish Engineers and Architects’ Chamber, Chamber of Geology Engineers and Union of Cyprus Turkish Engineers and Architects, and Chamber of Mine, Geology and Metallurgical Engineers for his “Outstanding Services and Contributions on Geological Issues at National and International platforms” on 16 February 1988; he was also awarded a “Certificate for his 25th year in the profession” by the Union of Turkish Engineers and Architects’ Chamber in May 2007; with the “Golden Badge” being given by the Federation of Journalists of Mersin for his superior scientific achievements and contributions to science in June 2008. In 2007, he was awarded Pavlov Golden Badge by “International Academy of Science, Health & Ecology (Innsbruck Austria) due to his outstanding scientific success; as part of the 21st item of World Health Organisation, National Environmental Health Action Plan.

For his publications in 2009, he was awarded “The NEU Scientific Research Award” on 3rd March 2010. In 2013, Prof. Dr. Hüseyin Gökçekuş was awarded an outstanding service and patent plaque for “Scientific Work at National and International Platforms alongside Contributions for the Recognition of TRNC” with unanimous decision of Journalists Society of Turkey and the plaque was presented by the President of TRNC Eroğlu. Finally, he was awarded the “2015 Outstanding service Award to the Turkish World” and the plaque was presented to Prof. Dr. Gökçekuş at a ceremony which was held in Ankara, Turkey.

On 25th October 2010, he was elected as a Member of YÖDAK by the TRNC Parliament. Later on 26th December 2011, he was assigned as the General Coordinator of Water as part of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources Project; to participate in work on bringing water from Turkey and to determine water sector policies; to design water management policies of the country alongside the realisation of goals determined regarding the water sector. Then on 24th April, 2012, he was elected as the First Term President of the International Universities Search and Rescue Council through unanimous decision.

In accordance with the “Establishment of the Higher Education Board, the Assignment of the Head and Members” item of the Higher Education Law, he was assigned as the Head of Higher Education Board (YÖDAK) of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) by the then-current President of TRNC Dr. Derviş Eroğlu on 19th September 2013.

As the Head of Higher Education Board of TRNC (YÖDAK), Professor Gökçekuş had been elected as a Member of Managing Board of Association of Quality Assurance Agencies of the Islamic World in Bahrain, in February 2014. On the other hand, in 2015, he presided the “IQA Workshop” hosted by NEU through cooperation with the Higher Education Board of TRNC.

As part of the Turkey-TRNC Economical Cooperation Agreement, he has contributed to the preparation of the Report on “The Preparation and Realisation of the TRNC Higher-Education Strategy Document and Action Plan” in June 2015, by the Higher Education Board of the TRNC (YÖDAK).

Currently, he is continuing his duty as the Head of Department Civil Engineering of Near East University to which he was appointed to on 1st November, 2017.

He is married to a Physician, Physiotherapy, Rehabilitation and Rheumatism Specialist Dr. Hatice Gökçekuş and is the father of two children.