Prof. Dr. Egbert Adriaan KREIKEN (1896-1964)

Prof. Dr. Kreiken was born on the 1st of November 1896 in the city of Barneveld in Holland. He completed his PhD in 1923 with the supervising of a very precise astronom, Prof. Dr. J. C. Kapteyn. Prof. Dr. Kreiken had a hard life and worked in Holland, Endonasia and Liberia. After attending as a Education Minister in Endonasia he was offered the director position of Ankara University Astronomy Institute. He accepted it and came to Ankara in 1954.

In those years, the Astronomy Institute was given education under the Mathematic Department and was about to get closed because of the lack of educators. Prof. Dr. Kreiken had only five students in his first year of tutorial. In his second year this number tripled and he taught for 15 students. After his two years of experience he noticed that Turkish student were more hard-working and willing than European students. So he made attempts for Turkish students to receieve a better education. Almost all of the students completed their PhD abroud. These scientist have served for a long time, first of all in A.U. Science Department and also in other astronomy departments in our country. They have constructed new observatories and still are serving to develope them.

Prof. Dr. Kreiken suggested to build an observatory in order to start observations in astronomy in Turkey. Since the Falculty buildings were in the city Prof. Dr. Kreiken searched for a better place suitable for observations. He found this location place at the south of Ankara. After the land was bought the projects were ready in 1955, but the construction could be started in 1959. At that time, 1 million Lira was spent to build a control and three observatory buildings. Prof. Dr. Kreiken made a great effort to get donation of observation instruments from abroad. In 26 Agust 1963, the observatory made a grant opening with an International Astronomy Meeting.

A few months after the opening of the Observatory, Prof. Dr. Kreiken went to Hague to participate in a meeting but unfortunately he got sick and passed away. In his will he wished for his coffin to be covered with red and white cloves shaped as the Turkish flag. And as he had written in his will that the Turkish National Anthem should be played during the funeral. After his death in 1973, his name was given to a crater on the moon for his great contributions to the International Astronomy Union (IAU).

Prof. Dr. Kreiken has served and made a lot of progress at the Ankara University Astronomy Institude from the day he had started work (12 January 1954) till the day he died (16 August 1964). Both of the units today are grateful to Mr. Kreiken for their presence.