Fire Balls

Fire Balls

a True Story

“I am sending you as sparks, you must return as fire balls,” said Mustafa Kemal on a note delivered to selected high-achieving and gifted students on their way to study abroad in 1923…

Memory of Sadi Irmak, M.D., Distinguished Professor, a scientist borne out of a two-line telegram.

“When I was a student at Istanbul University, I saw a sign on the school wall: “Students sought to be sent to Europe.” “What is this supposed to be,” I said to myself. At a time when the country was in ruins, everywhere was devastated and the Treaty of Lausanne had just been signed, sending a student to Europe… That was something of a luxury. Nevertheless, I wanted to take my chances. There were 11 of us selected from a total of 150. Atatürk wrote “Send to the University of Berlin” next to my name. It’s time. Hesitant and stressed, I’m at the Sirkeci Train Station. Should I stay or should I go? Would they forget about me there? Would they send money? Just as I had decided to stay and started to turn back, I heard a postman call my name. “Mahmut Sadi! Mahmut Sadi! Telegram for you.” “That’s me,” I said. I tore it open, this is exactly what it said “I am sending you as sparks, you must return as fire balls,” Mustafa Kemal.  I was incredibly ashamed for what I had been thinking. “How would I not go, work hard, and come back to give my life for this country,” I thought.  “Think about it! It is 1923 and there is a leader with so much on his plate. But he still finds the time to understand where these 11 students are, to sense their state of mind and send those telegraphs. How would anyone not give their lives for this country?” I was very successful. I came back to my country as a flame. I first founded The Institute of General and Human Physiology at Istanbul University. I became The Chairman. I then served as Prime Minister of my country. Who am I? I am just a scientist born out of a two-line telegram. Sadi Irmak, M.D., Distinguished Professor.”

90 years later, we set out to explore the fire balls of the future with the same vision. Our goal is to help you spread your academic success to your entire life.

About The Program

Today’s Sparks, Tomorrow’s Fire Balls…

We got inspired from this story and started the Fire Balls Program in 2012 to explore young people who are the sparks of today  today’s and may be the fire balls of tomorrow. .

With this Program, we wish to make contribution to raise young people who are not limited with academic success, have high personal awareness and strong communication skills, who can create radical solutions for social problems, and make evaluations with ethical perspectives.


TL 1.500 for 2022 – 23 Academic Year (for 12 months in a year)

Trainings and Activities

Emotional and social development oriented trainings organized separately for each spark group and designed to cover 4 years

Peer to Peer Advising System

Peer consultancy support from experienced sparks to facilitate adaptation processes of our new sparks

Volunteering and Experience

Giving opportunities to our sparks to be able to develop their academic and social skills through experiencing. Opportunity to volunteer and gain experience to create a sustainable volunteering eco system in our programs and projects

Cultural Development

Concert, theatre, museum and exhibition visits, book gifts, Herkese Bilim Teknoloji / Magma Journal subscriptions and various literature journal subscriptions

Professional Development

Internship opportunities and career consultancy for their academic/professional lives