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Nobel laureate Sancar stresses vital role of science in Türkiye's 2nd century | Daily Sabah - Daily Sabah

Author: Daily Sabah

Source: https://www.dailysabah.com/turkiye/nobel-laureate-sancar-stresses-vital-role-of-science-in-turkiyes-2nd-century/news

Image of Nobel laureate Sancar stresses vital role of science in Türkiye's 2nd century | Daily Sabah - Daily Sabah

Nobel laureate and Turkish biologist Aziz Sancar said Türkiye will need science in its second century, stressing that, "If we are strong in science, we will be strong in everything.”Sancar, who made history as the first Turkish scientist to win the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2015, said as he spoke to Anadolu Agency (AA) about the 100th anniversary of the republic.He noted his time in the U.S.state of North Carolina, where he has taught for years."My scientific education took place in Türkiye.I learned the scientific method in Türkiye.I had exceptional teachers from primary school to high school and at the Istanbul Faculty of Medicine.During my years of study, the Istanbul Faculty of Medicine was one of the best in Europe."That's why I believe that the Nobel Prize I received was won by (Türkiye’s founder Mustafa Kemal) Atatürk and the republic. For this reason, the Nobel medal is in Anıtkabir (the mausoleum of Atatürk)," he said.Sancar emphasized that the Nobel Prize represents not only himself and the Republic of Türkiye, but also Turks across the world."Our land is not given to us; we take our land.This happened thanks to Atatürk and his comrades.It happened because of their beliefs and the revolutions they made.If it weren't for him, a scientist from the town of Savur in (southeastern Turkish province of ) Mardin wouldn't have received a Nobel Prize," he said.'Türkiye rose among powerful countries'"In the first 100 years of the republic, Türkiye has risen to the level of a powerful country.This was achieved through the revolutions and ideas initiated by Atatürk and his comrades.The Turkish republic has taken significant steps toward providing equal rights for both girls and boys. For example, Türkiye has produced more female physics professors than Germany.Our country has provided educational opportunities for both the poor and the rich more than any other country in the world," he said."While all kinds of oppression and injustice are carried out by so-called great powers all over the world, Türkiye has always followed a peaceful path and tried to defend the rights of the oppressed when necessary."For Türkiye's second century, we need science the most.We should invest as much in science as we invest in defense.If we are strong in science, we will be strong in everything.This can be seen in the current geopolitical world," he added.Emphasis on Turkish unitySancar pointed out that Türkiye has taken important steps in achieving Atatürk's great ideal of Turkish unity."Atatürk lit that torch, but he couldn't do anything concrete in the conditions of that time. But he instilled that ideal in the future generations.Now there are significant advances toward achieving Turkish unity.I and my close friends believe in Turkish unity and work towards that goal."Aziz Sancar gives an interview with Anadolu Agency (AA) in his laboratory at North Carolina University, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, U.S., Oct.28, 2023.(AA Photo)'Don't waste your time'Sancar had the following message for young people on the 100th anniversary of the republic:"My advice to the new generation is to work hard and not waste your time on fleeting arguments. Focus on the profession you have chosen.Don't imitate the West; let them imitate us.We have many virtues to be imitated."Who is Aziz Sancar?Born in 1946 in southeastern Mardin province, Sancar was one of eight children in a family with little education.Thanks to his family's emphasis on education, he was able to study in Mardin up to university.After completing his undergraduate at Istanbul University Medical School, Sancar went to the U.S.for a graduate education and obtained a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Texas.He specialized in DNA repair and cell cycle and, in 2015, he won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Tomas Lindahl and Paul Modrich for their work on DNA repair.

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