NICOSIA – Aziz Sancar, Turkey’s 2015 Nobel laureate in chemistry, posed with a T-shirt saying that the occupied northern third of Cyprus, seized in two unlawful 1974 invasion, should be recognized instead of isolated.
Nedime Serakıncı, health adviser to Turkish-Cypriot hardliner leader Ersin Tatar, who doesn’t want reunification and demanded that the United Nations accept the occupied territory, said Sancar the shirt as a birthday gift, said the Turkish newspaper The Daily Hurriyet.
“My dear teacher Aziz Sancar liked the gift from his adopted daughter, which I had made. He is carrying it with pride,” Serakıncı said while sharing Sancar’s photo in a social media post.
“On behalf of myself and the Turkish Cypriot people, I would like to thank Professor Aziz Sancar, who proudly wore Serakıncı’s gift and gave great support to our national struggle,” Tatar said.
Sancar had visited the occupied side of the island in 2017 and he addresses Serakinci as his “adopted daughter,” the report said.
Sancar, who works at the University of North Carolina, was among three scientists awarded the 2015 Nobel Chemistry Prize for their work on DNA repair.
Sancar won the prize along with Tomas Lindahl and Paul Modrich for their work in mapping the cells which repair ultraviolet damage to DNA. Their research was an important step toward treating cancer.
He recently conducted a study on a new method in the treatment of brain tumors that can be applied without damaging nerve cells, the newspaper said.
The Turkish-Cypriot side is alone in the world while the Greek-Cypriot government on the island is a member of the European Union that Turkey has fruitlessly been trying to join since 2005.