Turkish Nobel Prize winner condemns Russia's Putin

Turkish Nobel Prize winner Aziz Sancar condemns Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying 'madnesses' damaging relationship between Turkey, Russia

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Biochemist and Nobel Prize in Chemistry co-laureate Aziz Sancar

Nobel prize winner Aziz Sancar on Monday condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s "madnesses" as harmful to both Turkey and Russia.

Sancar, who won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in October for his work in mapping the cells that repair ultraviolet damage to DNA, asked for Allah to "give sense to Putin."

The US-based Turkish chemist made his remarks to an Anadolu Agency reporter in Stockholm as tensions between Russia and Turkey continue to rise over the shooting down of a Russian military jet on the Turkey-Syria border on Nov. 24.

The SU-24 bomber was brought down despite repeated warnings to turn away from Turkish airspace.

"The term of 1880, the Tsarist term, has passed. Turkey is not a ‘sick man’ but Russia is," he said, referring to the phrase used to describe the dying days of the Ottoman Empire.

"All his madnesses are harmful for both Russia and Turkey. [I hope] the Russian people pull their socks up and do something about Putin."

Speaking after a seminar at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Sancar, of Savur, 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 were delighted so much," he said. "I hope this will set an example for Turkish youngsters."

His research is 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.