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Memorial ride for UM student

friends, family members and avid cyclists gathered in front of the lyceum on sunday afternoon to enjoy fellowship and partici- pate in a bike ride to celebrate kevser ermin.
Thomas Graning

More than 30 cyclists came out to ride on Sunday afternoon in memory of PH.D exercise science student Kevser Ermin. The path took cyclists from the Lyceum to Old Sardis Road, the site where Ermin was struck by a car while riding along her usual bike route on Oct. 7, 2011. Those in attendance who knew her personally talked about her positive spirit. She often volunteered with the local animal shelter in Oxford. Ermin’s husband, Yavuz Ozeren, a research scientist at the university, coordinated the event with the help of Danny Klinnetz, a friend of both Ermin and Ozeren. Klinnetz also photographed the event for The Oxford Eagle. “I’m just here as a friend to just help him and make sure this is day we call can remember her by,” Klinnetz said. Ozeren said the anniversary’s purpose was not only to cele- brate Ermin’s life it also holds a deeper meaning. “The purpose is to obviously refresh memories and to send a message that things can happen,” Ozeren said. “Each time I wake up, I think about her, so I don’t need such events to remember. “This is for Oxford, the university and the students to re- member what could happen and bring awareness of course.” The bike ride took two routes. One went from the Lyceum and around the Square, and the other went all the way to the site of Ermin’s accident, which happened on Old Sardis Road. To ensure the safety of the entire group, there were po- lice escorts. The Oxford Police Department stopped traffic on almost every corner. One Oxford police car led the charge as university police followed. While some of the people at the event knew Ermin person- ally, others came out to show support because of the event’s significance for their lives. “I’m a cyclist, and cycling safety is very important,” Oxford cyclist Jennifer Minzeko said. “It’s really important for the community to see the strengths of cyclists.” Melinda Valliant, a nutrition professor who taught Ermin and cycled with her, was also in attendance. “This is bittersweet for me,” Valliant said. “This time last year I found out I had thyroid cancer and couldn’t ride in the ride that they did in honor of her death which happened the day before I had surgery. As tragic as it is, I think her family and friends have done a great job about bringing awareness.” Young children who knew Ermin also participated in the bike route. “Kevser was really nice to me, and I loved her,” Elisa Karahan, 6, said. “She was real- ly pretty, and she babysat me.” Lara Tabanca, Ermin’s 8-year- old niece, said she misses her “very nice and beautiful” aunt. “I miss her with all of my heart,” she said. “I’m not very happy about it, and my mom cries everyday and she says ‘I wish she was here, or they punish whoever killed her.’” Charges were never filed for the accident that led to Ermin’s death.