Science and Technology take higher priority in U.S.-Turkey relations

Science and Technology take higher priority in U.S.-Turkey relations

Dr. George Atkinson, the Science and Technology Adviser to the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, has just returned from his four-day trip to Turkey with very positive impressions. Dr. Atkinson visited Turkey to demonstrate the commitments of both countries at the highest levels to enhancing collaboration on science and technology. TASSA is proud to have taken a key and active role in the arrangement of this visit, hosted officially by TUBITAK. TASSA President Suleyman Gokoglu escorted Dr. Atkinson throughout his stay in Turkey.

After a day of cultural tour in Istanbul, Dr. Atkinson started the official part of his trip by addressing the opening session of the second TASSA-TUBITAK workshop, attended by 115 scientists 20 of whom came from North America. He spent most of the day at the TUBITAK Marmara Research Center touring the facilities of various institutes at the Gebze Campus. His insightful and probing questions on a variety of different subjects were a pleasant surprise to the TUBITAK personnel, despite creating a challenge for the tight tour schedule. The day included a visit to Sabanci University at its nearby campus where he was given an impressive presentation by its top level administrators and faculty.

The next day’s program started at Bogazici University and continued with a luncheon organized by TUSIAD. The luncheon was attended by the members of both TUSIAD’s Knowledge Society Committee and the National Innovation Initiative subcommittee under TUSIAD-Sabanci University Competitiveness Forum. The attendees directed very challenging and informative questions to Dr. Atkinson. The rest of the day was dedicated to the Koc University delegation at its Sariyer campus before departing for Ankara.

The last day started with a meeting at TUBITAK Headquarters where concrete future steps were discussed and action items were determined for enhancing scientific collaboration. Subsequently, Dr. Atkinson and Dr. Gokoglu visited the American Embassy and briefly met with Ambassador Ross Wilson. Following the same format of at least one state-owned and one private institution each day, they then visited Bilkent and Hacettepe Universities and listened to the presentations made by their staff.

Dr. Atkinson completed his first-ever visit to Turkey with much information and enthusiasm towards many potential scientific collaborations for the mutual benefit of both societies. He left with a promise to return soon, both for more official visits and private vacations with his family.

A selection of excerpts published in the Turkish news media are listed below.

Anadolu Ajans
Bizim Anadolu
BT Haber Dergisi
Cumhuriyet Bilim ve Teknik