Gokay Gazanfer, a junior from the information systems engineering program, passed away on Oct. 17 in Istanbul, Turkey. As a member of the dual diploma program, he studied at both Binghamton University and Istanbul Technical University.
Gazanfer died after falling down the stairs of his apartment. He was a native of Turkey and widely traveled. Valentina Codrington remembered Gazanfer’s strong passion for music and said he was starting to perform as a DJ. According to Codrington, Gazanfer’s interest in travel and his good nature were readily apparent.
“He wasn’t quiet. He was extremely outgoing and curious with a contagious laugh,” said Codrington, a graduate student studying sociology and business administration. “While he was in the U.S. he took advantage and traveled.”
Gazanfer was known as “Goran” by some of his friends, one of whom described him as having a warm personality.
“A couple of resident assistants and I spent several hours with Goran learning Turkish phrases. Although I don’t remember much of those lessons, I do remember having a great time with Goran,” wrote Jessica Gonzalez ‘12, who received a degree in economics from BU.
Brooke Miller ‘12, who received a master’s degree in business administration, mentioned how involved he was in the Binghamton community.
“He was always social and friendly, even his first year here. He was one of the first people to get involved in events and participate in finding ways to meet new people,” she said.
Melina Melendez ‘12, who received a degree in biology and Spanish from BU, recalled one such instance of his welcoming personality.
“I remember one time he invited us to his room to check out his sound system. He had strobe lights too, so it looked like a rave,” she said. “He was fun to be around.”
His parents remember his selflessness and positivity.
“I can tell you that he was the sweetest thing in our life. We do not remember a time he did not smile,” wrote Sureyya and Nazan Gazanfer from a joint email account. “As far as we know he never said no to anybody who needed help from him.”
Gazanfer’s friends and family are planning a memorial service on Nov. 13, the details of which have yet to be disclosed. Any student in need of support regarding the death of Gazanfer is advised to reach out to the University Counseling Center.
Editor’s Note: The quotes from Ganzafer’s parents, Sureyya and Nazan, have been translated from their original Turkish.