Turkey inks agreement to become CERN associate member
GENEVATurkey has become an associate member of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) after signing the membership agreement at the organization’s center in Geneva on May 12.
The associate membership agreement that was signed by Turkey’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Ferden Çarıkçı, and CERN Director General Rolf Heuer is expected to strengthen Turkey’s relations with the European institution as well as boosting opportunities for development in the field.
“The Turkish scientific community has a long and proud history of involvement with CERN’s programs stretching back over 40 years,” Heuer was quoted as saying in a statement released by the CERN after the occasion. “It is therefore a great pleasure, and an honor for me to cement that relationship with today’s signature.”
Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız, who was also present at the ceremony, said the deal seals both Turkey’s past progress and future opportunities between the parties.
“This is a very special moment for Turkey and the Turkish scientific community,” he said. “Today we signed the agreement for associate membership in CERN, which reflects decades of achievement where Turkish scientists have contributed to the European scientific efforts at CERN. I am fully confident that with this signature, the relations between Turkey and CERN will further develop on a win-win basis.”
Associate membership will allow Turkey to attend meetings of the CERN Council as well as bid for CERN contracts, thus opening up opportunities for industrial collaboration in areas of advanced technology, the statement read.
Moreover, it will allow Turkish scientists to become members of the CERN staff, and to participate in CERN’s training and career development programs.
Turkey avoided changing its observer status to full member three years ago because of a high membership fee and claims that Turkish companies did not have the sufficient technological capacity to participate in CERN tenders.
The Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK) reportedly announced that it did not find it “productive” to pay 70 million Turkish Liras (approximately $50 million) per year to CERN.
Turkey was granted observer status at CERN in 1961. In 2008 a cooperation agreement between CERN and TAEK was signed concerning the further development of scientific and technical cooperation in high-energy physics. Turkish physicists have participated in a number of CERN experiments in recent years, notably CHORUS, to which they made several important contributions to data analysis.