Haluk Kabaalioglu

Life Lessons

Haluk Kabaalioglu LL.M. ’73, Yeditepe University Faculty of Law dean, believes that teaching a new generation of legal minds holds benefits for both students and instructors

By Joy Y. Wang

Winter 2010

In Turkey, students interested in law are able to begin legal training directly
after graduating high school. For Yeditepe University Faculty of Law dean
Haluk Kabaalioglu LL.M. ’73, that practice brings notable advantages. “Being with young people makes you feel younger,” he explains, adding quickly, “Except when you encounter a mirror.” Fortunately, the easy-going Kabaalioglu likes to stay connected with his youthful scholars. When the dean sees students waiting at the bus stop, he has been known to ride by and offer to drive them home.

Kabaalioglu, a veteran policy advisor who also attended Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, possesses teaching credentials that rival his legal expertise. Prior to joining Yeditepe in 2002, he taught at three different Turkish universities—Marmara, Istanbul, and Baziçi—and at more than 60 universities abroad. In 1987, Kabaalioglu founded the European Community Institute at Marmara University and served as director for its first eight years. He was also the president of Lefke European University in the Turkish republic of Northern Cyprus.

As an instructor, Kabaalioglu is not limited to teaching in academic classrooms. He directed seminars in Baku, Azerbaijan, on the model law and conventions prepared by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law.

Kabaalioglu’s fondness for academia is well reflected in his own background. After attending high school in California, he completed his law degree at Istanbul University and subsequently received his L.L.M. from Columbia Law School. Kabaalioglu then spent time studying at the University of Pennsylvania and The Hague Academy of International Law before receiving a second master’s in Brussels.

The Fulbright Program took note of the scholar in 1984, after Kabaalioglu earned a Ph.D. from Istanbul University, and selected him to be a senior scholar at the University of Virginia School of Law. In 1989, he studied in Florence as a Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute.

In addition to his current duties as dean of Yeditepe’s Faculty of Law, Kabaalioglu serves as the president of the Economic Development Foundation (IKV), a nongovernmental organization that represents Turkish business. Prior to taking on the title, he served on the board for more than 12 years. His involvement with IKV continues to be on a pro bono basis.

For the last few decades, there has been one cause for which Kabaalioglu remains a staunch advocate: Turkey’s full accession into the European Union. Kabaalioglu described the situation in no uncertain terms in a 2007 interview: “The only and the natural result of the Turkey-EU relationship must be accession, and anything less than that would not be acceptable for Turkey.”

Photographed by Kayso dergisi Mayis-Haziran 2009