Turkish Nobel Prize winner denounces Putin’s ‘madnesses’

Turkish Nobel Prize winner denounces Putin’s ‘madnesses’

STOCKHOLM - Anadolu Agency
Turkish Nobel Prize winner denounces Putin’s ‘madnesses’

AP photo

Turkish Nobel Prize-winner Aziz Sancar condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “madnesses” as harmful to both Turkey and Russia, while speaking on Dec. 7.

“All his madnesses are harmful for both Russia and Turkey. [I hope] the Russian people pull their socks up and do something about Putin,” said Sancar, who won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in October for his work in mapping the cells which repair ultraviolet damage to DNA.      

“The term of 1880, the Tsarist term, has passed. Turkey is not a ‘sick man’ but Russia is,” he said, referring to a phrase used to describe the dying days of the Ottoman Empire. He also appealed for a higher power to “give sense to Putin.”

The U.S.-based Turkish chemist made his remarks to an Anadolu Agency reporter in Stockholm as tensions between Russia and Turkey continued to rise over the shooting down of a Russian military jet on the Turkey-Syria border on Nov. 24. The Russian SU-24 bomber was reportedly brought down despite repeated warnings to turn away from Turkish airspace.

Speaking after a seminar at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Sancar, who was born in southeastern Mardin province, said he was surprised by the response to his award in his native Turkey.

“I would have won this award 20 years ago if I knew that the Turkish people [would be] delighted so much,” he said. “I hope this will set an example for Turkish youngsters.” 

His research was an important step for treating cancer. Sancar, who works at the University of North Carolina, was among three scientists awarded the prize for their work on DNA repair.