A video of a woman receiving an honorary degree alongside her visually impaired daughter has gone viral.
During a recent ceremony at the University of Sakarya in Turkey, 22-year-old visually impaired law student Berru Merve Kul graduated after completing her four-year course.
Throughout her degree Berru’s mother Havva read both lecture notes and legal texts out to her daughter who was unable to read them.
To celebrate her dedication and hard work, Havva was presented with an honorary degree next to her daughter during the ceremony.
You can watch the moment here:
As reported by Beyaz Gazete and the BBC, Professor Mahmut Bilen presented the awards to both Berru and Havva during the ceremony which was held at the Sabahattin Zaim Conference Hall of the Sakarya University Law School.
Joining her daughter on stage, Havva looks delighted when she was presented with the certificate.
Professor Bilen wrote about why the university gave Havva the award on Twitter explaining:
Besides our students who have been ranked in the law, Berru Merve Kul our visually impaired student has graduated in four years by completing the law education.
We gave the award as an honorary graduate of our faculty to her mother who had the effort to prepare for exams by reading all legal texts to her daughter at home.
What a lovely idea – it sounds like Havva really deserved it!
SAÜ Hukukta dereceye giren öğrencilerimiz dışında Berru Merve KUL görme engelli öğrencimiz 4 yılda hukuk eğitimini tamamlayarak mezun oldu. Evde bütün hukuk metinlerini kızına okuyarak sınavlara hazırlanmasında gayreti olan Annesine de fakültemizin fahri mezunu olarak ödül verdik https://t.co/Me8Q55r2pc
— Mahmut Bilen (@Bilenmah) July 5, 2018
People have been sharing the video and photos of the moment online applauding Havva for her devotion to her daughter.
Havva Koç took to Twitter to call Havva ‘mother of the year’:
The mother in this photograph, her visually impaired daughter, has repeatedly read all the legal texts and made her work to finish the faculty in four years.
I think she’s the mother of the year.
Bu fotoğraftaki anne var ya, görme engelli kızına, tüm hukuk metinlerini defalarca okuyup onu çalıştırarak kızının 4 yılda fakülteyi bitirmesini sağlamış.
Yılın annesi bence.
Sözün bittiği yer…
Yer: Sakarya Üniversitesi… pic.twitter.com/1AYRC0Z4YY
— Havva Koç (@Kochavva) July 11, 2018
Receiving over 88,000 likes at time of writing (July 14), we think people agree!
Another user replied saying they would give Havva an even higher ranking of ‘not just the mother of the year but of the century’:
Bence sadece yılın değil
Yüzyılın annesi olabilir.
— II. Murad (@YtMrT04) July 11, 2018
Twitter user ‘akadirbulus’ thought Havva should have got a diploma instead of an honorary degree:
Anneye de diploma vermek lazım.
— akadirbulus (@akbulus) July 11, 2018
Continuing with the outpouring of praise, this Twitter user believes Havva is the perfect mother:
For four years, she was given an honorary diploma for her visually impaired daughter, who read the law books, the mother who was running it.
I’m thinking about how to set a good sentence for the university and the rector. Every word comes in less. There’s no word for that perfect mother to be told.
4 yıl boyunca görme engelli kızına hukuk kitaplarını okuyan, onu çalıştıran Anneye fahri diploma verilmiş. Üniversiteye ve rektörüne nasıl güzel bir cümle kursam diye düşünüyorum. Her kelime az geliyor. O mükemmel Anne için zaten söylenebilecek karşılığını anlatacak kelime yok.
— ABdullah İNCEBİZ (@abdullahincebiz) July 12, 2018
While the majority of the responses to the university’s move were positive, some criticised the authorities in Turkey for not providing enough support to visually impaired students.
Ismail Alacaoglu called for reading material to be provided in Braille and audio sources to be available.
An admirable support and achievement, but in schools that should be real, the books written in the Braille alphabet, the library and computer rooms with audio sources.
The fact that people receive education without needing someone else’s support providing.
Takdir edilesi bir destek ve başarı ama asıl olması gereken okullarda braille alfabesiyle yazılmış kitapların, sesli kaynakların bulunduğu kütüphane ve bilgisayar odaları olması, insanların başkasının desteğine ihtiyaç duymadan eğitim almalarının sağlanması.
— ismail alacaoglu (@siradanbiroteki) July 11, 2018
It is clear more needs to be done to support visually impaired students and hopefully Havva’s hard work helping her daughter will help show the government why.
Congratulations to both Havva and Berru!
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Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.