The 27-year-old physics genius with cerebral palsy follows in the footsteps of Stephen Hawking
Yusuf Samet İlerisoy, who received a full scholarship in the Physics department of Bilkent University and continued his master’s degree in “Mathematical Physics” at Boğaziçi University, also graduated from the history and sociology departments of open education as he was interested.
Having received a full scholarship and graduating from Bilkent University Physics department and continuing his master’s degree in “Mathematical Physics” at Boğaziçi University, Yusuf Samet İlerisoy with cerebral palsy (CP) is preparing to become one of the leading scientists in Turkey.
Ilerisoy, 27, is likened to world-renowned physics professor Stephen Hawking, who passed away in 2018 due to his superior talent in physics and mathematics and the physical disability caused by CP, also known as “brain stroke”, and continues his career in the footsteps of the famous scientist.
He was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy in infancy and lost his father when he was 4 years old, and his mother was the biggest supporter in life. The young genius has overcome all the obstacles he faced in his life in financial difficulties.
Ilerisoy, who won the Department of Physics at Bilkent University with a 100 percent scholarship and continued his master’s degree in “Mathematical Physics” at Bosphorus University, also graduated from undergraduate history and sociology departments through open education because he was interested as a hobby.
Among the active members of the Ankara City Council Assembly for the Disabled and the Association for Children with Cerebral Palsy (SERÇEV), Ilerisoy got married in July with his life partner Merve Pehlivan, whom he met at the idea clubs at the university.
Ilerisoy, who is confidently advancing towards Turkey’s goal of becoming one of the leading scientists in the field of physics, told the AA reporter about his life, which he carried from zero to the top in spite of Cerebral Palsy.
Primary school teacher turned milestone.
Ilerisoy said that he spent his childhood through physical therapy processes and that he could start kindergarten, which was not accepted, with his mother’s struggle, and that the elementary school teacher changed his life.
“My primary school teacher, Zeki Karadağ, was one of the most important people who made me hold on to education. He noticed the gem in me and made it shine.” Ilerisoy stated that he won the Hüseyin Avni Sözen Anatolian High School, one of the successful schools in Istanbul, by entering the top 5 thousand in the high school exams after secondary school.
Explaining that his love of physics and mathematics and his curiosity to question every knowledge were instilled in him by his primary school teacher, he set his goal to be an academician and to receive education in these fields from an early age. “Physics is the most important element that adds fun to my life.” used the phrase.
“The word “love” is rare to describe my feelings to my wife.”
Yusuf Samet Ilerisoy stated that after winning Bilkent University, he left his mother and came to a different city alone for the first time, and that he stayed in the dormitory during his student life, which gave him a great deal of experience.
He said that he and his wife, whom he met in the university’s idea clubs, married in July after a long friendship, and that his wife continued her master’s degree and had a lot in common.
“I love my wife very much and above all I have a lot of respect for her. We can laugh at the same things at the same time, we can go to opera and ballet together. There are English-language shows we follow together. The word “love” is barely there to describe my feelings for her. I count her too much, I care about her. At home, we call each other “teacher-teacher.” We dream of doing a PhD together, becoming a teacher at the university.”
“If we learn to look at each individual in their own uniqueness, the obstacle will be removed.”
Ilerisoy stated that he sees Cerebral Palsy as a natural trait as being “blue-eyed”.
“Cerebral palsy is good, bad, difficult, easy and even no different; It’s a feature of my whole. I see the reason why cerebral palsy is so differentiated as ‘standardization’. That’s one of the things we’re fighting for the most right now.I believe that if one day we learn to look at each individual in his own characteristics, with his own uniqueness, if we treat each individual as himself and treat him as himself, all obstacles will be removed. A 2-meter man can’t reach a 15-foot place, but it’s not his shame, it’s the law of nature. No one can call him ‘handicapped’ because he can’t reach a 15-foot spot. There are people with disabilities in society, but it is not the individual himself who is responsible for this, but the opportunities that society cannot offer him.”
“An individual with cerebral palsy becomes a very good doctor, a very good CEO, a very good president, a very good party leader. So what we can be is a thousand times more efficient than what we can’t be. Children and young people in my situation should never give up hope. They have brothers and sisters who open their doors. Let everyone be aware of its potential,” he said.
“I’m the product of my mother’s struggle”
Samet Ilerisoy expressed his love for his mother by saying, “My mother is everything to me. She is not one of the people who brought me to this day; She is the person who brought me to this day. I am a product of her struggle. I wouldn’t be me if it wasn’t for my mother.” expressed in his words.
Emphasizing that her mother instilled in him honesty, manners, determination and will to fight, Ilerisoy said that her mother had said from an early age, “There is only one job you can do; read and become a great man.” He said that he did not forget her advice and that he was trying to move forward on that path.
“I’m glad he’s my son”
Yusuf Samet’s mother, Istemihan Ilerisoy, said that she gave birth to her son at the age of 29 and that after losing her husband, she started to struggle with her child alone in a city like Istanbul.
Istemihan Ilerisoy stated that awareness of the disabled in the society has increased much compared to the past and that the state supports the disabled more, “Fortunately, despite all the negativity in our lives, we have struggled a lot. And my advice to everyone is to stay fighting no matter what. I’m proud of my son, I’m glad he exists, I’m glad he was born, I’m glad he’s my son,” he said.“Yusuf Samet took my life to a very different dimension”
Yusuf Samet Ilerisoy’s wife Merve Pehlivan Ilerisoy, 24, said she is currently studying for a master’s degree in Security Studies at TOBB University of Economics and Technology.
“There is a very different communication between Yusuf and me. He took my life to a whole new level. Our marriage was not found strange in our close circle, but we faced different reactions in the society. We encounter such incidents in the subway we get on, in the hospital we go to. I think that’s the best part of our relationship. We can make fun of and laugh together at the oddities and strange reactions we encounter.
It’s obviously weird and funny when people pause for a while when I say ‘my wife’. There were many who tried to give me advice and tried to console me that you had guaranteed heaven. We laugh at them together, we have fun together. Because thankfully, both I and Yusuf have exceeded a certain level of awareness, we are neither short nor in a position to be lectured. It’s just that there are different dynamics in our relationship, which is what every relationship is.”