Prof. Hasan Mandal, who was appointed as the TUBITAK President with the decision published by the Official Gazette No. 30340 and dated 22 February 2018, took over the position from Prof. A. Arif Ergin with a ceremony held in TUBITAK Science Board Meeting Room and with the participation of Faruk Özlü, the Minister of Science, Industry and Technology.
Minister of Science, Industry and Technology Faruk Özlü stated that re-structuring of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) is on the agenda due to the changing conditions, demands and needs and said: “After our restructuring, we will see a flexible, solution partner institution which centres around R&D, carries out projects and focuses on development. We are going to mobilize the entire accumulation of TUBITAK for the technological breakthrough that will allow us reach our 2023 targets. In this process, our vision will be local and our targets will be global.” Minister Özlü also expressed his thanks to Prof. Arif Ergin, who was the President of TUBITAK since June 2015. He stated that despite his young age, Prof. Ergin has successfully managed a multi-faceted institution such as TUBITAK and contributed a lot to Turkish science. He said: “Prof. Arif Ergin mobilized his entire accumulation for TUBITAK as a scientist and with human virtues. He will serve Turkish science and academy for long years and will leave permanent works behind.”
Minister Özlü, has pointed out that Prof. Mandal, who took over the position, is one of the important, distinguished members of the Turkish science world like Prof. Ergin and stated his belief in Prof. Mandal’s success in his new position given his academic works, managerial responsibilities at universities, and successful works at the Council of Higher Education.
“TUBITAK is the apple of our eye”
Minister Özlü underlined that TUBITAK is the flagship of science and technology and said; “With all its projects and the national and local support it provided to Turkish science, industry and technology, it has always been under the service of our nation and state. TUBITAK, with its grants and scholarships, has always provided many opportunities to our youth, opened its doors to scientists and researchers and made Turkey stronger and will go on within the framework of the same mission."
Minister Özlü has drawn attention to the fact that re-structuring of TUBITAK is on the agenda due to the changing conditions, demands and needs and said: We will create a TUBITAK with less bureaucracy and more science. We dream for a Turkey that produces science and technology. After our restructuring, we will see a flexible, solution partner institution which centres around R&D, carries out projects and focuses on development. Our perspective will be to embrace both science and technology policies and industrial policies at the same platform and to create collaborations between them. We are going to mobilize the entire accumulation of TUBITAK for the technological breakthrough that will allow us reach our 2023 targets. In this process, our vision will be local and our targets will be global."
Minister Özlü stated that our nation entrusted us with bureaucratic and political responsibilities and change of missions mean that our will to serve continues. Minister Özlü stated that Prof. Ergin successfully completed the relay and from here on, it is Prof. Mandal’s time to improve TUBITAK and to get new accomplishments in science and technology. Minister Özlü mentioned that they will benefit from Prof. Ergin’s experiences and continue to work together in the Ministry. He stated his wish that the new term will benefit TUBITAK and the scientific community.
“We Will Endeavour for Turkey’s Needs and Priorities”
TUBITAK President Prof. Hasan Mandal explained that he received TUBITAK Ph.D. scholarship in 1989, took over many positions at TUBITAK, and was awarded with science awards. He pointed out that the need for knowledge in the global competitive environment has increased and that access to information has changed. He said: "Developing our national and local technology based on science and knowledge becomes more important in order to reach our short, medium and long term targets, particularly our 2023 targets and 11th Development Plan. This will be possible only by developing our qualified human resources and qualified information production."
Prof. Mandal underlined that the need for TUBITAK’s support and activities will increase at all levels and said; "TUBITAK will respond to these needs by reviewing and renewing its activities as needed. We will work to reach many scientists, researchers, industrialists, entrepreneurs, students and all relevant individuals and institutions within the framework of our country’s needs and priorities in the global competitive environment and to make active and productive contribution in order for our country to reach its targets.
The Project Volume of TUBITAK Institutes is 8,3 Billion Turkish Liras"
Ex-President of TUBITAK Prof. A.Arif Ergin stated that Turkey underwent a different and tumultuous period such as the attempted coup in 15 July, during his term. He informed that the number of personnel in TUBITAK increased from 4.900 to 5.026 during his term and that corresponds to 23% of all personnel covering the period before and after 15 July. He said, “TUBITAK was one of the main focal points of FETÖ and we spent many efforts to inhibit any hindrances in our activities.” Prof. Ergin pointed to the importance of the use of local and national artillery in the military operations in South East of Turkey. Before 15 July, we had encountered problems in taking inventory and industrialization of artillery developed by TUBITAK Defense Industries Research And Development Institute (SAGE). As of now, according to open source information, we have delivered over 2000 pieces of artillery to the Turkish Armed Forces such as sensitive guidance kits, winged guidance kits. Hence, this change has been the guiding force behind Turkey’s and TUBITAK’s independence.” Prof. Ergin, stated that 1,5-2 billion Turkish Liras given to science technology and R&D institutions was distributed on behalf of the state in order to strengthen Turkey’s R&D infrastructure and also expressed that TUBITAK Institutes’ project volume increased from 4.6 billion Turkish Liras at the beginning of his term to the current 8.3 billion Turkish Liras.