"To solve an interesting problem, start by finding a problem that might be interesting.” says Eric Steven Raymond; Free software community, which he wrote One of his important written works, "Market and Cathedral” book, Social Content of Open Source Software in the section.
It is thanks to a person who “found an interesting problem” that I actually reached this book, which was not widely published in Turkey, and was announced on May 27, 1997.
This person is Mustafa Akgül, known for his humble personality, who, in addition to his major works, can even chat with and be a light to a 17-year-old high school student.
We know him as the “father of the Internet in Turkey”.
Mustafa Akgül was born on Monday, May 10, 1948, in the green town of Yeşilöz, like the name of Güdül district of Ankara. He graduated from METU Civil Engineering in 1970 and from METU Mathematics / Operations Departments in 1974.
He completed his doctorate at the University of Waterloo in Canada in 1981.
He made research publications on how important the Internet was in the early 90's, which were years when academics had to visit the library and collect materials for any printed publication.
In Mustafa Akgül's work titled “The Internet: The New Name of Access to Information”, which is thought to be dated 1995, which we viewed on jmo.org.tr, Mustafa Akgül talks about this subject abundantly. In fact, in this text, “The Internet is simply an international, dynamic, lively large library with parts scattered all over the world.” he said. It is very surprising that this definition has not changed despite the fact that we are in an era where the life span of knowledge has been shortened.
Linus Torvalds announced the first Linux version in September 1991. 2 years later, in 1993, for free software developers to communicate. email@example.com created the e-mail list.
When we came to 1995, he brought the people on this list together physically at the 1st Internet Conference in Turkey, which he organized at Bilkent University.
In the second half of the 90s, the establishment of linux.org.tr to facilitate information exchange, the publication of the first book on GNU/Linux, the development of the first GNU/Linux distribution in Turkey, and free software were discussed at conferences.
With the establishment of the Linux Users Association in 2000, he served as the chairman of the board for 8 years. He later became honorary president.
In 2000, an event on independent software was organized for the first time in Turkey under the name of Free Software and Linux Festival, this event continued to be organized later under the name of Free Software and Linux Days. In 2010, the Linux Summer Camp, where trainings such as GNU/Linux system management were organized, was organized for the first time with the initiatives of Mustafa Akgül. In addition, by making the Academic Informatics Conference and pre-courses that have been going on for years continuous, it has offered more sector employees and students the opportunity to access high value-added information free of charge.
Mustafa Akgul was a true visionary, but he was not trapped in the cycle of repetition that many in the world fell into. Openness to criticism, appetite for learning, and most importantly, endless life energy play a big role in this. Even during the difficult times of his illness, he tried to participate in the camps and programs that he was the organizer of. By giving lectures, he conveyed his free software philosophy and technical knowledge to new and fresh minds. In addition to these, Mustafa Akgül, who helped everyone who asked for help, was an irreplaceable person in the sector with his unifying personality.
He has always had a special place for the Pardus team, especially when he was a member of the Open Source Advisory Committee, he played a guiding role for all open source projects in Turkey, and most importantly, for the spread of Pardus.
He took an active role not only in LKD, but also in the management of active pioneering associations in Turkey such as the Internet Technologies Association and the Turkish Informatics Association.
The Internet, of which he constantly emphasizes its importance, made its arrival in Turkey celebrated as Internet week in the whole country every April since 1998. Of course, the slogan chosen by a scientist trying to attract so much attention to the importance of the Internet could only be so interesting. “Internet is Life.”
Another feature of Mustafa Akgül that most people do not know is that he created an e-mail list called “Bilkent Blinds” before the activities of the visually impaired in the field of informatics started in the 90s, making it easier for the visually impaired to exchange information.
On December 13, 2017, at the hospital where he was treated in Ankara, he left behind a painful family, his students, his colleagues and the largest community, a whole industry that has built their own professional and private lives thanks to him.
His name is in the Mustafa Akgül Özgür Yazılım camps, which are held twice a year, in their e-mail lists and most importantly in every information that reaches us from our modems.
We remember him with respect and longing.
To listen to this article aloud, https://www.pardus.org.tr/podcast-yayinlari/