Mert Ataner


I was born on 30 September 1986 in Lefkoşa as the first child of my mother Gönül and my father Ahmet Ataner. My mother’s family is originally coming from the village Melandra in Paphos and my father’s family from Limasol. From the very early ages, I stood out as an active, very talkative and cheery child. I learned to read much earlier compared to my peers and then finding normal reading boring I enjoyed to read the words and sentences backward and very fast. My brother Asil was born when I was 7 years old and from then on he is like my twin brother who is 7 years younger than me. Our similarity continues with the same profession and same educational background in addition to our physical appearance.

After graduating from Sht.Tuncer Primary School in 1997, I passed the entrance exam and started to study at Turk Maarif Koleji, TMK in Lefkosa. During my education at TMK I participated in social and sportive activities like being a member at school’s Journalism Club, being the Head of Environment Club and playing in the school’s football team. I studied at the GCE Section and while completing my international exams I also participated in activities such as playing the guitar, table tennis, chess, tennis, swimming and basketball in my spare times.

In 2003, I graduated from TMK and got the third highest English Grade in the TRNC in the University Entrance Exams for Turkey and I won an achievement scholarship. I started to study at Bilkent University, Department of English Language Teaching. After studying one year at Bilkent University, in 2004 I shifted to the University of Essex, English Language Teaching Department. After 3 years of education, I graduated from the University of Essex and got a BA/TEFL Degree in 2007. Without a break, I started my Master’s Degree at the University of Birmingham in the same year.

Title of my Master’s thesis is ‘Learning and Teaching of English Language in the TRNC Education System’. I made many interviews and surveys and as a result I drew many conclusions on how the learning and teaching of the English Language can be changed and improved in the TRNC. I published my thesis in a book and considering that it can be a source of information for the next generations, I donated a copy of the book to some universities in the UK and to the educational institutions and libraries in the TRNC.

In 2008, I graduated from the University of Birmingham and got my Master’s Degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Then, after completing my military service in 2009 as an English Translator Sergeant, I started to work as an English Teacher at the Near East College. Being a teacher and working at the Near East College have always been a source of pride for me.

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At first, I worked as an English Teacher at NEC Secondary School. For 5 years, besides teaching, I have been performing the task of the ‘Leader Teacher’ at the Near East Summer Schools organized by the Near East University.

In addition, I have been the Head of the school’s Honorary Committee for 5 years and we organized various fund raising activities together with the students in coordination with the school administration. We made donations with the funds we raised to many associations such as the Aid for Cancer Patients Association, rehabilitation centres for old persons, and orphanages. I also participated with my class in the ‘Sports Day’ activities organised by the school every year and we enjoyed being the first and winning other various degrees. With all these activities, I have been trying to teach my students the importance of helping other people in need, working in discipline and with a team spirit in order to be successful.


I also taught “Cambridge Young Learners – FLYERS &KET” preparation courses organized by the school. Besides, I participated in many international seminars such as “Macmillan – Strategies for IELTS”, “Pearson – Let Learning Flourish”, “IELTS Writing Task 2 Strategies”, “and Speaking for IELTS”, “Reading Techniques and IELTS – Marking”. I also participated in the “ISTEK SCHOOLS INTERNATIONAL ELT CONFERENCE” organised on 27-28 April 2013 at Yeditepe University in Istanbul and represented my school.

I presented the program of 2013, 2014, 2015 NEC graduation ceremonies in English and enjoyed being together with our school’s valuable graduates at such an important event in their lives. I also presented the program of the Opening and Ground Breaking Ceremonies of Girne University and Hospital which are outstanding investments of the Near East University.

In 2014, I was assigned to teach English at NEC’s high school division. In the 2015-2016 academic year, I am also charged with the duty of ‘Discipline Committee Member’ and I am also responsible for 9th year students. My main aim is to approach my students with ‘love and respect’ in the discipline issues as in every other issue. In addition to all these, I enjoy helping my colleagues and contributing to the school‘s administration in organising excursions and other social activities.


Cooking at home, eating out and discovering new tastes are among my hobbies. I like to try different menus and cuisines at different restaurants. When I am on holiday, I do not hesitate to visit even the most remote corners of the countries in order to try their recommended local dishes. I also enjoy cooking and trying different meals at home. As a person who loves to share experience and feelings, I frequently organize trips to special restaurants with my friends or family.



I am extremely sure that I have been born to be a teacher and to work in an environment where there are young people full of energy. I believe that education is a life time process and should be continuous as a dynamic system. For me teaching should not be limited to the classroom and I like to be a model for my students as an active and social member of the education world. I always try to be a well – organized, efficient and social person and reflect these to my profession.  I consider myself very lucky since I can perform my duties as a teacher not just only for earning my life but also with passion and as something that I enjoy doing with my innate abilities. I strongly believe that teaching is a profession which should be performed with intense feelings of passion and excitement and only then teaching can be a joy and advantage for both the teachers and the students. For this cause, my main aim is to spend effort to provide a happy, joyful and positive atmosphere of teaching for my students. The power of positive thinking is the key for success and I believe that this should be the most important thing to be taught in the classroom. Trying to be a positive source of energy should be first on the agenda of a teacher. Only in this way the students can enjoy learning and thus they can learn more easily and become more successful in their education.



            I want to give some messages to my dear students who will create the future of our country.

  • Whatever you do, do it with passion and LOVE! So that you put all of your energy into it.
  • Engage in what you enjoy doing in order to spend your time for beneficial and valuable things.
  • Always question what you have learnt.
  • Always be eager to learn new things .
  • Don’t forget that it is easy to ask for the best of everything. However the most important thing is to work enough in order to be successful in reaching the best of everything!


And I want to tell my dear students that:

To my firm belief: ‘Teachers are those who teach not for written tests, but rather for the final exam called LIFE.’

My aim is to be a role model for you by approaching every issue with a positive energy and love. I love you and I love my profession owing to you.

I wish that you live every moment of your life and everything you do as something good to be remembered. I also wish that the right steps you take will lead you to a strong and happy future.  Then your teachers will be happy as well.



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