Bilger Duruman - Doctor of Laws

Saturday, May 17, 2008
SNHU Communications Office

Bilger Duruman, a citizen of Turkey, created his business in real estate development and construction while he was an economics student in 1956. During his 40 years in the field, he sold land and built more than 4,000 apartment units for those with limited means.

Duruman worked as a contractor in Libya, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. In 1980, while working in Kuwait, he began negotiating business disputes and construction problems. In the next 21 years, he arbitrated more than 20 national and international construction disputes.

His relationship with the university began in 1982, when he met the then-President Edward Shapiro and Dr. Steven Harvey, now director of International Admission. Duruman sent his son, Burak, to what was then New Hampshire College for his undergraduate education, and in 1983 became the Turkish representative for the institution. In the past 20 years, he has sent more than 500 Turkish students to SNHU. Over the course of the last 50 years, he has provided scholarship help for 122 students.

After learning he had cancer in 1996, he retired from real estate and began working in health care. The next year, he co-founded American Oncology Associates and started the first private cancer center in Turkey.

During his health care career he also has helped create affiliations among world-famous health care institutions and organizes international health care conferences in Turkey. He also helped found the first stroke and organ transplant center in Turkey. 

Today he is the international relations, investments and education coordinator for Turkey’s Florence Nightingale Hospital group, a nonprofit institution with 3,000 open-heart surgeries, 10,000 major surgeries and 30,000 inpatient services a year. He is president of Duruman Real Estate Development and Construction and the American Oncology Associates. He is vice president for his son’s four incorporated companies, in advertising, health care technology, pharmaceuticals and public relations. He also is the author of three books.

Duruman has two children: a son, Burak; a daughter, Gamze; and three grandchildren. Now 60, his goal is to educate and help cancer patients.

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