This time, the Turkish flag with its crescent and star flew proudly in a neighboring country. Prof. Dr. Mehmet Haberal represented his country this time in Thessaloniki-Greece, the city where Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkiye, was born.
He was the guest of honor at the Panhellenic Transplantation Congress.
Prof. Haberal was also awarded the first high honorary prize given to a non-Greek foreigner by the Academy of Athens, whose foundation dates back to 380 BC and where many philosophers such as Socrates were trained.
The decision to award the prize was taken unanimously.
The decision was published in the Government Gazette of Greece with the approval of Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou and Kyriakos Pierrakakis, Greek Minister of Education, Religious Affairs and Sports.
The news of the Academy of Athens’s Award was announced by Prof. Dr. Andreas Tzakis of the Pittsburgh Starzl Transplantation Institute, and a close friend of Haberal and a student of Prof. Dr. Thomas Starzl, at the congress attended by the Greek Deputy Health Minister Marios Themistocleous and World Health Organization Representative Dr. Stratos.
Prof. Dr. Andreas Tzakis remarked:
"PROF. HABERAL IS A UNIQUE SCIENTIST. I WOULD LIKE TO ANNOUNCE TO YOU TODAY THAT THE ACADEMY OF ATHENS HAS HONORED PROF. HABERAL FOR HIS GREAT CONTRIBUTION TO THE WORLD WITH A HIGH HONORARY AWARD, WHICH IS NOT NORMALLY GIVEN TO A NON-GREEK. I AM PARTICULARLY HAPPY WITH THE RESULT OF THIS SELECTION.
NEXT YEAR, WE WILL HOLD THE AWARD CEREMONY AT A CONVENIENT TIME."
Haberal, who returned home, attributed this success and pride to his country.
The administrators and academics of Başkent University congratulated Prof. Haberal on the important award, which will also reinforce the Turkish-Greek brotherhood next year.
Prof. Dr. Mehmet Haberal thanked them saying " I am fulfilling my civic duty. "