Visiting Scholar Spotlight: Hilal Lale Ayhan Izmirli

Five questions with Hilal Lale Ayhan Izmirli, Visiting Scholar from Turkey

Visiting scholar Hilal Lale Ayhan Izmirli from Ankara, Turkey, joins the University of Kansas School of Law for the fall 2021 semester.

A member of the law faculty at Ankara Haci Bayram Veli University in Turkey, Ayhan Izmirli specializes in international private law, arbitration law and fundamental concepts of law.

During her time in Lawrence, Ayhan Izmirli will continue her research on the legal aspects of international countertrade.

Photo of Hilal Lale Ayhan Izmirli.

Why did you choose to study at KU Law? How did you learn about our program and establish contact? 

It was a very nice coincidence. I was looking for a visiting scholar opportunity abroad in the field of international trade law for my post-doctoral study. One of my friends (who was a visiting scholar at KU Law a couple of years ago) told me about Professor Raj Bhala. I already knew Professor Bhala from his books, articles and other studies. I sent him an email and asked if he could supervise me. I was fortunate he accepted the responsibility of being my faculty shepherd, and now I have the opportunity to study at KU Law. I have been here for just two weeks, and I have met other outstanding professors and very nice administrative staff. I am very happy to be here, and I am thankful to KU Law and TUBITAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) for providing the scholarship for my research.

What are your professional goals for your time at KU Law? What will be your next career step after your time here? 

I would like to collect related resources, finish my research and (hopefully) publish my work after going back to my country. Afterward, I will keep studying in this field, utilizing the academic experience and knowledge I gained here at KU Law.

How does the academic and research environment at KU Law differ from your home institution? 

From the external point of view, the academic and research environment at KU is similar to Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University, School of Law. However, there are a lot of differences in detail. First of all, this experience gives me the opportunity to get to know the U.S. legal system, which is quite different from Turkey’s legal system. I believe this kind of opportunity is valuable for the unique academic perspective.

What are your favorite things about Lawrence? What about your home do you miss the most? 

The thing I like the most about Lawrence is its calmness. It is so peaceful and calm here that I already feel comfortable and relaxed after my first week. My children and I like to watch the squirrels pacing around (which is not common in Turkey). We also enjoy feeding them. In addition, I particularly like the large, green and airy parks. On the other hand, I miss my extended family and friends in Turkey, but I know that is very natural. I try to make the most of my time here at KU Law.

What advice would you offer to other scholars who may want to do research abroad? 

First, I recommend they examine every single opportunity while setting their steps for their academic target. Studying abroad contributes to their academic improvement. Secondly, it is wonderful for networking, especially if they want to work in the field of international or comparative law. Lastly, apart from academic research, this kind of experience can expand their world perspective and lead to self-improvement. Learning about another culture while you are immersed in it gives you valuable insight which cannot be discovered by reading a book. I think that means a lot. It leads to more understanding between people. At the end of the day, it contributes to a better world.