The last rites of internationally acclaimed historian Kemal Karpat were performed on Feb. 25 in a state ceremony. Karpat died of natural causes on Feb. 20 in the U.S. at the age of 96. In a funeral ceremony held at Istanbul University, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the Turkish people should follow his footsteps and pursue "even greater" academic achievements. "He was able to approach the old debates of Turkey in a much more realistic and moderate way," Erdoğan said. Erdoğan said the birthplace of the historian, Dobruja region of Romania, could seem far from Turkey today, but Karpat was born to Turkish parents.