Science Dergisinin Bilim Akademisi Başkanı Prof. Dr. M. Ali Alpar ile söyleşisi için tıklayınız.
Leader of Turkey’s New Science Academy Speaks Out
ISTANBUL—The rift is deepening between Turkey’s academics and the conservative government led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. University students and faculty members have played a large role in the national protests movement that began as an environmental sit-in on 28 May. The government has mounted an aggressive legal campaign against academics who have criticized its policies, arresting several prominent scientists, including a physicist who attempted suicide in jail on 14 June.
The relationship between Turkish academics and their government began to sour long before the current unrest. Some 120 members of the Turkish Academy of Sciences—all but 30—have resigned since the government seized control of the academy in late 2011 and began appointing party cadres as members. Turkish scientists have now founded an independent academy in opposition, called Bilim Akademisi—or simply, in English, The Science Academy. One of the founders of the new academy, Sabancı University astrophysicist Mehmet Ali Alpar, spoke with ScienceInsider. The interview has been edited for brevity.