In Memoriam: Burak Firik MS‘18

Feb 11 2023
Burak Firik, his wife Kimberly, and their two sons

Burak Firik, his wife Kimberly, and their two sons

Columbia Engineering mourns the loss of Burak Firik, a 2018 graduate of the Master’s program in computer science who was killed in the catastrophic earthquake in Turkey along with his wife and two young children. 

Firik was a promising professional and engaged community member residing in Corona, Queens. After graduating from Columbia Engineering, he worked as a software engineer and then as CEO of PashtunFund. He and his family were visiting relatives in Elbistan, Turkey when the earthquake struck. 

As a community, we are deeply saddened by this loss and the continuing devastation in Turkey and Syria. Please keep the Firik family in your thoughts. 

If you wish to contribute, Firik’s father-in-law has set up a GoFundMe for extended family members in Turkey to rebuild their homes and assist with living expenses and education. 

Columbia is a global University with students from all over the world. The events in Turkey and Syria have affected all of us deeply and many of you are eager to support the disaster response. Barnard has organized a helpful list of humanitarian organizations for you to consider. The Columbia Turkish Student Association has also been gathering much-needed supplies to send overseas. The University is working to reach out to students tied to the region who have been impacted by the tragedy. Please know that many University resources are available to our students, faculty, and staff. See the resources below, and learn how the Columbia community is responding to recovery efforts.

Resources for the Columbia Community


Faculty and Staff

  • You may wish to connect with the University’s many mental health and well-being resources including the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which can help support any Columbia employee. The EAP offers a 24-hour hotline for personal, confidential counseling and referrals to professional services at 1-844-636-1260 (TTY: 711).