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‘The research opportunities at Heidelberg University are excellent’

Mustafa Aksu

Prof. Dr. Mustafa Aksu, Jurist at the Faculty of Law of the University of Istanbul/Turkey

Visiting professorship and research stay at the Faculty of Law of Heidelberg University in May–July 2011 and in June–July 2012


When, how long and in what capacity did you stay at Heidelberg University?

I first came to Heidelberg University for a 3-month research stay in May–June 2011 within the framework of the DAAD-Heidelberg scholarship programme for international visiting scholars. During this time I gave an introductory lecture on Turkish private law (on 19 May 2011) and another on Turkish copyright law (on 26 May 2011). I also held a seminar on ‘Current problems in Turkish copyright law and the effects of German and European law in Turkish copyright law’. A year later, I was able to return to Heidelberg for two months, from June to July 2012. This time, I did not have any teaching obligations and used the time exclusively for my research.


Why did you decide to come to Heidelberg University?

There are a number of reasons – here are just the most important ones:  To begin with, I found the DAAD-Heidelberg scholarship programme for international visiting scholars to be a very interesting option for me: On the one hand, it gave me the chance to teach in Germany as a visiting professor, on the other hand, it allowed me to discover if I was even cut out for international teaching assignments. Secondly, I was looking forward to working at Heidelberg University and its Faculty of Law, because of the research opportunities and the teaching staff there. Also, Prof. Dr Thomas Lobinger of the Faculty of Law is a very good friend of mine whom I met as a doctoral student in Tübingen at the chair of Prof. Dr Eduard Picker. So I was excited to have another opportunity to spend time with Prof. Lobinger. I could, of course, cite even more reasons: meeting other colleagues at the Faculty of Law, working at a world-famous, international university, the incredible beauty of Heidelberg, and much more.


What were your experiences in Heidelberg?

As I said, I gave lectures (even if only for two weeks) and held a seminar. It was a special experience for me to talk to the students about Turkish law and the effect of German law on Turkish law, to discuss this topic and analyse a number of problems in the two legal systems. And it was especially interesting to introduce myself at a faculty meeting at the beginning of my stay and to meet new colleagues. My time in Heidelberg coincided with a colloquium for members of the Faculty of Law at which the president of the European Court of Justice, Prof. Dr Vasilios Skouris, a number of high-level judges of the court and faculty members gave presentations, which were followed by in-depth discussions. As a visiting professor, I was able to attend this event – a very valuable experience for me.


How did your career continue after your time in Heidelberg?

I still work at the Faculty of Law in Istanbul. In addition, I give lectures at a number of private law faculties in the city. I have also been able to attend many conferences in Turkey, Germany and Taiwan. 


Do you still have professional contacts in Heidelberg or are you planning another research stay?

Yes, of course! I have good professional contacts, especially with Prof. Lobinger. And I keep in touch with other acquaintances, such as Prof. Dr Volker Haas of the Institute for German, European and International Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Law, whom I also met as a doctoral student in Tübingen. I am planning another research stay in Heidelberg and hope to stay a little longer this time. I should also mention that my 10-year-old son has become a real fan of Heidelberg – he would like nothing better than to come to the city every summer and stay in the University's guest house.


Do you recommend a research visit to Heidelberg University to your students or to colleagues in your scientific network?

I am always happy to do that. In fact, several assistants from the Istanbul Faculty of Law have already followed my recommendation and come to Heidelberg for research. Since Heidelberg University offers excellent conditions for researchers, I can really recommend such a stay.


How do you rate the opportunities offered by Heidelberg Alumni International and the Research Alumni Network?

The network keeps me very well informed about new research and scholarship opportunities and other developments. It allows me to maintain my ties to Heidelberg. When we were in Heidelberg as a family, I also really enjoyed the chance to take part in HAI events.

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Latest Revision: 2015-07-15
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