|Updated: 28-Jun-2004||NATO Speeches|
27 June 2004
by NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very happy to be here to present the special NATO Summit Science Prize for Turkish researchers to State Minister Atalay.
The NATO Programme for Security Through Science was established to bring together scientists throughout the Euro-Atlantic region to build a scientific community dedicated to security, stability and solidarity. The programme offers support for collaboration in projects in security-related areas such as defence against terrorism. But it also focuses on projects dealing with deadly natural disasters, like earthquakes, from which this country suffered many times in the past.
We all remember the horrible earthquakes that hit Turkey in 1999. Turkey then requested the help of NATO to be better prepared to face such contingencies in the future. NATO launched four projects to help our Ally and we have now produced the results. I very much hope that they will be of use to Turkish decision makers and local authorities. In fact, I understand that the authorities have already started implementing the recommendations.
Turkey has been actively involved in the cooperative projects launched through this programme, and it has given strong support to their implementation. This is why NATO’s Science Committee agree to grant a special NATO Summit Prize to Turkey.
Three universities – Bosphorus University, Istanbul Technical University, and the Middle East Technical University – have played a leading role with their research on alleviating the consequences of earthquakes. I salute the researchers from these three universities who are present here today. Your research could save the lives of many. And this is probably the noblest contribution any scientist can make to security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area.
The Turkish Scientific Research Council has been instrumental in driving this work, ensuring NATO support, and fostering cooperation between NATO and Partner countries.
So it is certainly appropriate for you, Professor Atalay, as the State Minister responsible for the Research Council, to take receipt of the special NATO Summit Science Prize. I congratulate you most sincerely, and through you the Turkish scientific community. And I would like to present the prize to you now.