Turkish dailies cover interviews with Nobel-winning Turkish professor, plus Turkish president's visit to Japan amid Russia spat


World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish dailies on Friday covered interviews with a Nobel-winning Turkish professor after he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Wednesday for work on DNA repair.

"Lesson worthy of Nobel," was the headline of MILLIYET which said the life, efforts, and success of Aziz Sancar are a good lesson for all.

"Education is a must for all from Mardin to Edirne [Turkish provinces], especially for the girls," the paper quoted Sancar as saying. "Otherwise we are losing half of our labor force," the professor stressed.

Sancar is the second Turk to win a Nobel Prize following writer Orhan Pamuk, who was awarded the accolade for literature in 2006.

When Sancar got a 5 a.m. phone call from Stockholm, he was still sleeping, papers reported.

“My wife picked up the phone and said 'the person on the line says this is very important',” Sancar said. He took the phone and was told he had won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

Born into a peasant family in Turkey's southeast, Sancar has been working in the fields of chemistry and medicine at the University of North Carolina in the United States.

The university held a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, where his colleagues congratulated him and applauded loudly, CUMHURIYET wrote.

"Sancar kept saying at high school that he would find a cure for cancer," the paper quoted a friend of his from high school as saying.

Sancar's award-winning study is expected to have an impact on the development of cancer treatments.

HURRIYET ran the headline "I owe it to the Republic," quoting the professor as saying: "I owe my success to the education in my country which started as part of the Republic-era revolution."

The paper also covered quotes from the professor’s brother who said he "believed Sancar would definitely find a cure for cancer".

Sancar – from Mardin, a southeastern Turkish province populated with a high concentration of peoples of Arab, Kurdish and Assyrian origin – also told newspapers he was a Turk.

Several papers covered claims of a “purposeful question” posed by a British reporter to Sancar, asking him if he was “Arab or half-Turkish”, according to ASKAM.

"I told them that I neither speak Arabic nor Kurdish, and that I was a Turk," the professor was quoted as saying: "I'm a Turk, that's it. It doesn't matter that I was born in Mardin."

Friday's papers also reported on the two-day visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Japan, where he highlighted the historical friendship between Turkey and Japan.

Erdogan, in a speech at Waseda University in Tokyo, said Turkey was a “safe haven” for Japanese tourists and businessmen, YENI SAFAK wrote.

The paper quoted him as speaking about the current terror campaign facing Turkey: “Turkey, especially for our Japanese friends, is a safe haven. Turkey has the power and initiative to handle this terrorist organization,” a reference to the PKK.

Addressing a crowd of students and dignitaries at the university, Erdogan described terrorism as a “humanitarian crime” that “cannot be related to any religion, race, ethnicity, culture or geography," SABAH wrote.

Erdogan’s visit to Japan was also a bluff to Russia following disagreement over Syria, CUMHURIYET claimed, saying: "Experts believe that Turkey has been trying to find an alternative to Russia in energy sector."

"There is Japan, if not Russia," was the headline of STAR which also pointed to the disagreement between Turkey and Russia over the Syrian crisis, and in particular over the role of President Bashar al-Assad in his country’s future.

Toshiba, the Japanese electric power business, gave the green light to cooperate with Turkey over a new nuclear power plant, the paper claimed.

Russia and Turkey signed an agreement in 2010 to operate a power plant in the Akkuyu district of southern Mersin province. Engineering work started at the site in 2011, and the official launch ceremony took place in April 2015.

When completed, it will be the country's first nuclear power plant.

Financial paper DUNYA also reported on Erdogan's Japan visit and quoted him saying, "nuclear cooperation between Turkey and Japan will be strengthened". Erdogan called on the Japanese authorities for more cooperation in the energy and economic fields, the paper said.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Ekim 2015, 11:38