Cemalnur Sargut is the President of the Turkish Women's Cultural Association, Istanbul (TURKKAD), founded by her teacher, Samiha Ayverdi in 1966. Ms. Sargut was born in Istanbul in 1952. After receiving her BSc in Chemical Engineering, she taught Chemistry for 20 years. Born into a Sufi family, she was interested in philosophy and examined the lives of great philosophers when she was young. Upon her teacher, Samiha Ayverdi's request, she started to work on the Quran, conducted a comparative study on Rumi's Masnavi and started giving Masnavi lessons to young people when she was 24. Since then she has reached millions of people. Under her leadership TURKKAD works to organize international symposiums to reach a wide range of people to apply solutions to today's problems in the Sufi view that knowledge is a state to be practiced and worship is a journey toward love.
She continuously serves people by giving spiritual discourses and teachings on Rumi's Masnavi and Ibn Arabi's Fususu'l Hikem. In 2009, initiated a chair of Islamic Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she has been giving lectures since 2000. A similar initiative is to be launched at Peking University, China. These academic efforts aspire to build a spiritual bridge between the east and the west and to teach Sufism, through daily practice in addition to scholarly study. Ms. Sargut has also published books of commentaries on the Quran chapters by the great Sufi masters such as as Kenan Rifai, Rumi, Ibn-i Arabi and Shams, among many others.