Science and technology investments to become Turkey's priority

The New Anatolian - Turkish President Abdullah Gul said Wednesday investments in science and technology will play a locomotive role in Turkey's development in these areas, while Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan explained that making investment in scientific development and encouraging scientists are among government's top priorities. Speaking at the award ceremony of Scientific & Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) held at the Cankaya Presidential Palace, President Gul said "I am determined to encourage scientific and technological development, research and development and innovation as long as I am the president." "Attaching importance to science and technology and making long-term projections will not only raise the prestige of our country in international arena but also increase Turkey's competitive power in trade and other areas," he explained. On his part, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said "Increasing the quality and the quantity of scientific studies and training scientists are two issues of utmost importance for our government." Erdogan also said Turkey was the top third country to increase the number of its research personnel over the last years. "I am very pleased to see that Turkey has already met its target to recruit 40 thousand research personnel by 2010," he continued. Premier said his government allocated as high as 3.5 billion USD for research and development in 2008, which was only 200 million USD in 2002.