By Dilara Zengin and Arife Yildiz Unal
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey will launch a new program next year to support scientists and researchers working in the country, said the technology and industry minister on Monday.
“We are launching the National Leading Researchers Program. We will call for it in January,” Mustafa Varank said at a science awards event between Turkey's Academy of Sciences (TUBA) and Turkey's Scientific and Technological Research Council (TUBITAK) in the capital Ankara.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also attended the event at Bestepe National Congress and Culture Center.
Turkey will be a hub for top researchers from around the world, said Varank.
“We started this program as a ruling government that has given the greatest support, interest, and respect to scientists,” Varank said.
Varank added that Turkey wants to increase its share in the production and export of technology and to create global brands and value with young firms worth billions of dollars.
“Every step we take will strengthen our economic and technological independence. We will develop unique and innovative technologies and become a top player in the global competition. We have all the necessary infrastructure,” he added.
Varank also stressed that an open-source platform was established as Turkey seeks cooperation on software development with technology firms, NGOs, and related institutions.
“By developing local open-source solutions, we will reduce external dependency, increase savings, and head off possible cyber attacks,” he added.
* Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur