News and events Tilburg University

In Memoriam: Ege Okant, Alumna Department of Culture Studies

Published: 09th February 2023 Last updated: 10th February 2023

A prominent young scholar, lawyer, and cultural diversity manager Ege Okant passed away in the horrendous earthquake in Turkey. She was on a business trip in Malatya where she fell victim to the earthquake in her hotel room. She was born in Ankara on 23 July 1995. At the prime of her life, we lost her!

Ege Okant

In the words of her classmates and her teachers, Ege was a beautiful person, someone that you cannot forget. Everyone who knows Ege agrees that she is intelligent, determined, assertive, driven and dedicated, cheerful, vivacious, and warm. Ege's fellow students describe her as a beautiful soul who gave sincere hugs and could work tirelessly towards her goals.  Ege was tenaciously fighting for social justice and inclusivity, especially for the LGBTQAI+ community, even if she did not identify herself as a member of this community. 

Ege started her pre-Master in Management of Cultural Diversity at Tilburg University in 2020 during the pandemic. Classes were entirely online; even in these circumstances, she was breaking the screen with her intelligent questions and comments. In 2021 she started her Master's in Management of Cultural Diversity. When face to face teaching started, we could appreciate Ege's other qualities, including her confidence, vitality and interest in others. During the lessons, she continuously challenged her lecturers with relevant and stimulating questions that facilitated a proper Academic dialogue. Ege’s intelligent comments and questions also helped us in becoming better teachers. For that, we are thankful, Ege. 

Ege graduated from the Law School of Bilkent University in 2017, and in 2020 she received an Intercultural Trainer Certificate at Jacobs University Bremen. Her interest in social justice went beyond her academic choices, and it is reflected in her work experiences. For instance, she worked as an intern at the United Nations (UN) and as a volunteer coordinator for the European Solidarity Corps (ESC). Further, she also worked as a student assistant at our School, where she analyzed the European Union's legal and policy documents regarding language diversity. Ege valued the concept "Prudent", defined in the Oxford Dictionary as "acting with or showing care and thought for the future". May your soul rest in peace, Ege. We will continue a "prudent" work for social justice and inclusivity also on your behalf!

On behalf of Ege’s friends and lecturers, Camilla Spadavecchia, Department of Culture Studies, Tilburg University.