Erdogan pushes more R&D as way out of crisis
Chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the High Council for Science and Technology (BTYK) convened yesterday in Ankara. Sixteen Cabinet ministers, including Deputy Premiers Cemil Cicek and Bulent Arinc, State Minister Mehmet Aydin, and Professor Nüket Yetis, the head of the Turkish Scientific and Technological Research Council (TUBITAK), attended the meeting as well. Addressing the council, Erdogan stressed the importance the government places on research and development. Stating that Turkey is feeling the global economic crisis to a certain extent, Erdogan called the crisis environment an opportunity to restructure the nation's sustainable development plans. Reiterating his determination to focus on the opportunities presented by the crisis rather than its threats, Erdogan said, "We believe that research and development activities are critical for taking advantage of the chances brought by the crisis. This is scientifically proven, and also supported by the experiences of countries that emerged stronger from past global economic crises." Erdogan also said that Turkey should attract more foreign researchers from across the world, calling the current number of such researchers employed by Turkish universities inadequate.