Photos of Turkish-origin scientists may appear on new euros
A member of the European Parliament has proposed that photos of Özlem Türeci and Uğur Şahin, the two Turkish-origin scientists who are the founders of BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, should be placed on euro banknotes planned to be redesigned.
Speaking to the Welt am Sonntag newspaper, Moritz Körner, a German politician of the Free Democratic Party (FDP), said that the new banknotes should include photographs of important European personalities such as Şahin and Türeci.
“Their life path is a compelling story about integration, ascension, entrepreneurship, scientific excellence and the potential of an open immigration society,” he said, stressing that the duo’s success in developing a vaccine has saved the lives of millions of Europeans.
Both Şahin and Türeci were born to immigrant parents from Turkey who moved to Germany in the 1960s. At the age of 4, Şahin, who was born in Iskenderun, Turkey, in 1965, arrived in Germany, where his father worked in a car factory.
He studied medicine at the University of Cologne and worked for several years at Saarland University Medical Center.
Türeci is the daughter of a Turkish physician, who emigrated to Germany from Istanbul. She studied medicine at the Saarland University Faculty of Medicine and become a pioneer of cancer immunotherapy in Germany.
Some 20 years after the introduction of the euro, the European Central Bank began work on the redesign of banknotes, asking for more “European participation” in the decision-making process. Authorities are also considering conducting a survey on this issue.
However, it will be years before the new banknotes come into circulation. The Executive Board of the European Central Bank is expected to take the decision on the production and introduction of new banknotes in 2024.