Senior Spotlight: Burak Turker

“I am a very straightforward person who is motivated and dedicated to reach the goals that I have set for myself.”

These are the words that Senior Burak Turker uses to describe himself. 

Turker is a senior at Dimond High School as well as a student at the University of Anchorage Alaska. 

He said, “Currently I am in the Middle College Program and have been in it since my junior year of high school. This program allows me to go to college as a high school student.

“I will have about 30-plus college credits after I graduate from high school and this gives me a sophomore status in college.”

To add to that, he said, “ I currently hold a 4.0 GPA and have been announced a UA Scholar.”

A UA Scholar is a $12,000 scholarship award which covers expenses such as fees, undergraduate tuition, books, room, supplies and other educational costs that are associated with going to a UA school.

Students are eligible for this award if they are in the top ten percent of their junior class at the end of that school year. 

Turker is also loved by anyone who meets him, from friends to strangers. 

A close friend, Senior Konaan Lavivong, stated, “Burak is a genuine, comedic guy. He’s helped me through so many things, ranging from homework problems to mental health episodes.

“He’s a one-of-a-kind friend to me and no one can ever take his place in my life.”

Turker plans on majoring in civil engineering with outstanding efforts and hard work. 

“I plan to get a bachelor of science in civil engineering. My biggest goal is to graduate college as one of Alaska’s successful civil engineers and to have zero student loans. 

“So far I have already received a couple scholarships that make my goals seem feasible.”, said Turker.

Referring to the fact that Turker will enter college as a sophomore, he said, “My biggest achievement is entering college with over 30 credits.” 

Turker is definitely admired by his peers. 

Lavivong stated, “I think of him as a student and as a friend who are two very different people with similar aspects. 

“As a student, Burak likes to get things done, no matter how hard or how tiring it may be.

“As a friend, he’s very easygoing and peaceful. But Burak, as both a student and a friend, knows when to lay ease on himself.”

Burak Turker’s father, Ali Turker, concurs with this statement. 

“He reflects his principles and discipled attitude both in school and in personal and social circles; however, he believes in having fun as an essential element of life.”

Burak Turker is not only very successful in school, but he also has diverse interests in other activities.

He said, “I played soccer on the Junior Varsity team my freshman and sophomore year.”

Additionally, he voluntarily does community service.

“Since my freshman year I have spent a great amount of my time helping out an elderly man by taking care of his lawn work, washing his dog, driving him to appointments, running his errands and more.”

He also has experience playing three different instruments.

Burak Turker said, “I used to play the violin and guitar, and I currently play the saz, which is a traditional Turkish instrument.”

He was taught how to play both the violin and guitar.

However, Burak Turker amazingly taught himself how to play to saz from scratch with no assistance whatsoever. 

A close teacher, Jeffrey Bannish, describes Burak. 

“He is attentive, methodical, but most importantly willing to listen and learn,” Bannish said.

“He is an interesting man because he thinks bigger than the small environment; he thinks globally; he’s a world man.”

Burak Turker is also responsible for assisting the creation of Club UNICEF at Dimond High School.

According to their website, UNICEF’s mission is to, “promote the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do.” 

Burak Turker said, “I was the vice president and one of the founders of Club UNICEF which was the first UNICEF club created at Dimond.” 

Even though Burak Turker has a crazy school life, he still works and makes plenty of leisure time for friends and family.

He said, “I have worked in an auto sales & rental company since 2015 and I also worked for a real estate investment company where I was the assistant manager.”

Aside from that, he also said, “I care a lot about family and friends as they have always been and always will be a big part of my life.”

Burak Turker is already fluent in two very different languages, English and Turkish, but it does not stop there.

He said, “I am currently bilingual and I am learning how to speak Arabic and Spanish. There definitely are a lot of benefits to knowing multiple languages.”

Furthermore, Ali Turker said, “He is a well brought up, responsible, a hardworking young individual who respects parents and the people around him.”

Burak Turker is known for using and managing his time very well.

Ali Turker said, “He manages his time so well that he has enough spare time, not only for his school, with great grades, but also for helping the family with business tasks and house chores. 

“He still has spare time for fun because he manages his time better than me and most people I know, including his siblings.”

Even with this crowded life Burak Turker has, he still works outside of school to achieve great things. 

With that, he said, “I have also gotten three Microsoft certificates in Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint along with several academic letter awards.”

This student is known to be intelligent, hardworking, funny and he is loved by many, from peers to teachers, and anyone who interacts with him.  

Bannish thinks that the best way to describe Burak Turker is to use the words that came from his own mouth, “‘If you just pay attention, it’s easy.’”

Ali Turker said, “His maturity, disciplined manners, honesty and trustworthy personality makes him special and unique. 

“I wish him luck and I am proud of him.”

To add to that, Burak Turker said, “My parents have had the greatest influence on me as they always set the bar high for me and my siblings. They have sacrificed so much for us that working hard and pushing forward is not a choice for me.”

Lastly, Laviviong stated, “Burak, thank you for being such a great friend. Saying thank you a million times over wouldn’t suffice for what you’ve done for me.

“Thank you, Burak.”