Mehmet Hasan Yacı, who graduated top of his class from Galatasaray University’s Law School in Istanbul, has dedicated his award to Gazan students whose universities have been destroyed and whose graduation opportunities have been denied.

In a speech during the academic graduation ceremony, the Turkish student referenced the iconic “Statue of Justice” in legal systems, stating: “The eyes of a jurist are blind when making decisions, but not when injustice occurs. Today, I must declare and fulfill my duty against illegality and injustice, at least with my words. A genocide is being committed in Gaza.”

Drawing attention to the events of the past eight months, Yacı said: “In plain view of the whole world, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed since Oct. 7. Children, women, civilians, journalists and many others continue to be killed with the most advanced weapons on earth.”

“The hundreds of thousands of Palestinians facing genocide are not just numbers. Six-year-old girl Hind Recep is more than just a number. Being one among hundreds of thousands does not change the fact that she was fired upon 355 times. I reject the disregard for decisions of the International Court of Justice, the violation of international law and the dismissal of all values and norms known to humanity,” he said.

Yacı concluded his remarks by dedicating his award, “Today, I dedicate this award to my Gazan friends whose universities have been destroyed and whose opportunities to graduate have been taken away.”

The Turkish student is a graduate of Kartal Anatolian Imam Hatip High School and had ranked 10th in Türkiye in university entrance exams and chose Galatasaray University for his studies.

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