Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Minister's Threat to Academic Research and the Environment

According to the report on the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet, Minister of Forestry and Waterworks Veysel Eroglu made significant remarks upon his visit to the newspaper's premises. Yet again, his statements form a great example of the state's criminalization of academic research and publication:

Stating that one of the leading problems of Turkey is its dependence on foreign energy, Eroglu elucidated that Turkey's need of energy is increasing by up to 8% a year, while the global energy dependency raises 2-3%. Putting the scientific researchers on target, Eroglu claimed those scientists to be "itinerant groups" manipulated by the outside forces of energy companies.

Eroglu affirmed that they have identified the academics, who work on projects involving environmental damage and who support the actions of environmentalists. He added: "Actually, I have personally taken down the name of one, from this university, who have made a statement full of mistakes and even fabrications. His statements were far from being scientific and utterly ignorant. He told people 'your water will get contaminated,' 'they sold your water,' etc. We will file a criminal complaint against him. This will be our first time taking something to the attorney general. We will take it, simultaneously, to the office of the attorney general, the Higher Council of Education (YOK) and the university. I am sorry, but such a scientist is just unacceptable."

To read the full report in Turkish, visit Cumhuriyet portal online here.