Turgay Karakaş, 44, who was born with cerebral palsy (CP), popularly known as “cerebral palsy”, achieved rare successes despite the hardships he experienced due to his physical disability and the discrimination he saw during school.
With the support of her teacher father and her housewife mother, Karakaş was a successful student in mathematics at school, and entered the top 25 in the 1994 university exam by answering only numerical questions.
Karakaş, who wanted to study in the field of childhood imaginary space, settled in the Department of Astronomy and Space Sciences at Ankara University, which he only preferred since he did not have a department of space engineering at that time.
Chairman of the Board of the Association for Children with Cerebral Palsy
In order to provide the necessary competence for aerospace engineering, Karakaş, who is doing a minor in mathematics, physics and chemistry at the same time and taking the necessary difference courses for engineering, started to work at the TÜBİTAK Defense Industry Research and Development Institute (SAGE).
Karakaş, who continues his studies at SAGE and gives private lessons to students at the same time, was elected the Chairman of the Board of the Association for Children with Cerebral Palsy (SERÇEV) 1.5 months ago.
Karakaş, who lived a happy life with her nurse wife and 3-year-old daughter, told her life story that gave hope and inspiration to children with special needs.
“I worked on Turkey’s first long-range cruise missile project”
Emphasizing that being one of the first aerospace engineers of Turkey is a pride for him, Karakaş said that the Turkish teacher at secondary school did not solve Turkish questions in the university exam because he offended him and was very upset about it.
Explaining that he started to work at TÜBİTAK SAGE after completing his master’s and doctorate at the faculty, Karakaş said, “I work in projects for the defense industry at TÜBİTAK. I worked on the project of Turkey’s first long-range cruise missile, SOM. I’m taking part, “he said.
“Mathematics is my life”
Karakaş said that her older sister, sister and parents always supported her and learned how to read and write and multiplication tables from her mother before school.
Karakaş, who said that he studied in public schools and that he received degrees by participating in the physics and mathematics Olympics organized around the world during his high school period, went to 3 classrooms at the same time for free, as he always received degrees in the classroom exams.
“Mathematics is my life. Currently, I teach private lessons, I have four students. I try to make them love mathematics. I can explain myself with mathematics best. When I was a child in the neighborhood, when I was arguing with children and beaten by them, my mother always said,” You will beat them with your scholar and math. ” I have also devoted myself to mathematics all my life. “
Karakaş said that his university years were more enjoyable than middle school and high school, and that he always received value from his environment with his knowledge and thoughts.
According to him there is no such thing as impossible
Karakaş explained that childhood is the most difficult period for individuals with special needs.
“Children can be incredibly cruel sometimes, they can say a lot of things. The traumas there are really difficult to solve. My father, for example, always bought the most beautiful and expensive toys for me so that other children could come and play with me. Adolescence was also a difficult period. But when I look at my current situation, I am working in one of the most serious and highly productive institutions of Turkey as an individual with CP. it makes you very happy.
We are not sick, a difference such as SP, blond hair, blue eyes, big nose, small ears. We have friends who cannot walk or speak at all, and there are also those who are self-sufficient like me. Nothing is easy for us, but there is no such thing as impossible, it just takes a while. “
Wants to establish SERÇEV University for children with special needs
Emphasizing that when SERÇEV’s Board of Directors was offered 1.5 months ago, he accepted it without thinking in order to reach more children and families, Karakaş said that he assumed the chairmanship of SERÇEV for a short term 10 years ago.
“Early diagnosis is very important for children with cerebral palsy. I want to build a hospital that serves children with cerebral palsy, which includes early diagnosis. I ask our Minister of Health and our state elders to support this hospital project.
The second stage is education. I also took part in the construction of SERÇEV Rainbow Primary School. Unfortunately, we have 400 CP students waiting in line to be able to study at this school. Rainbow is no longer enough for these children, so we want to open a 2nd and even a 3rd school. My third dream is the university. To establish SERÇEV University for our children with special needs. “
Saying that he attaches great importance to supporting the employment of individuals with special needs, Karakaş said, “Our state is very self-sacrificing in this regard, but new steps need to be taken. We want to create environments such as living houses and cafes within SERÇEV. We also seek support from our state in this regard.”