The Yunus Emre Institute (YEE) recently established the Academic and Scientific Cooperation Project of Turkey (TABİP) that runs under the auspices of the Presidency of the Turkish Republic. The TABİP project is meant to introduce Turkey-based academic and scientific studies to the world, present these studies on international platforms and support Turkey's academic and scientific endeavors. The project provides the proper conditions for Turkey to improve its qualified human resources and run science diplomacy activities on a global scale.
The international network and contributions presented through this project to all national institutions and organizations will soon be available on its website www.tabip.global.
The project has promising objectives for scientific diplomacy and has already started collaboration talks with international education bodies and science foundations. Bringing scientists and educators together on a portal that provides rich resources, contacts, events, vacancy and bursary postings "is something no academic would want to skip." The Europe leg of the project has already organized or sponsored several events in Germany, Brussels and other European countries.
TABİP to help reach scientific knowledge
In an email interview with Daily Sabah, Turkish National Education Minister Ziya Selçuk stated that the project will allow Turkey to closely follow the scientific, academic and technological advancements across the world while forming a basis for Turkey's scientific and academic interaction base to compete with the rest of the world in terms of technology and science in a rapidly changing global context.
Selçuk expressed that although the rapid change of the world is a popular topic, what needed to be focused on is how and to what extent Turkey benefits from this change: "There is an important aspect we must present to our students, academics and business people in the face of technological and scientific advancements that mostly occur at a pace we cannot wkeep track of. This aspect is enabling quick access to scientific and technological advancements and information across the globe. At this point, TABİP serves a significant purpose of our country by offering the secure access that we need."
Emphasizing that TABİP is a significant project not only for universities but also for the National Education Ministry given the student user groups, Selçuk, who is also a TABİP Science Board member, also said: "We believe that our youth can carry out activities that will enable great scientific and technical improvements if they have the opportunity to reach the information they need through a wide network like TABİP that encompasses the world instead of personal or local networks. To express the current situation of science in our country by employing internet terms, we can, unfortunately, say that Turkey is a download society rather than an upload society. In this sense, we need to reach current global information quickly and be productive by making use of the portal in order to upload more." Selçuk also remarked that the TABİP project will have social contributions to the country along with its scientific and economic contributions, adding: "As the National Education Ministry, we expect students to think through a universal perspective. If they do not have such an outlook, scientific productivity will decrease. Therefore, as the ministry, we encourage students to be in close contact with the world and boost their self-confidence by enabling them to reach global information. In this respect, TABİP will allow our youth to communicate with the world in a self-confident manner while presenting economic and scientific opportunities to the youth, academics and business people of our country."
Project a benefit for both Turkey and the world
Operating under the umbrella of the Yunus Emre Foundation in public and cultural diplomacy with its 56 cultural centers in 45 countries and 139 contact points in more than 60 countries with the aim of introducing Turkish language, cultural heritage and arts and serving those in abroad who want to receive education in the fields, Yunus Emre Institute initiated the TABİP in order to enhance Turkey's visibility in science and technology through science diplomacy. In this scope, YEE Chair professor Şeref Ateş spoke on the objectives and activities of TABİP.
Ateş said that the Institute would celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2019, adding that the fields of public and cultural diplomacy do not suffice to influence the global masses comprising youth, academics and business world: "For this reason, we particularly need to focus on our works in science diplomacy since science is a subject matter that unites all the world citizens. With TABİP, we contribute not only to Turkey, but also to world citizens since we are sharing Turkey's scientific capacity with the world. We are aware of the fact that the means of production no longer depend on industrial production. So, when we look at the developments in some regions of the world, especially the Asia-Pacific region, we see the presence of knowledge-based production. In this manner, we aim to make TABİP one of the leading instruments that will promote knowledge-based production in Turkey. So, we want to establish infrastructure which will enable businesspeople and investors around the world to have access to the Portal where global knowledge circulates and allows us to benefit from this qualified knowledge for production by sharing the knowledge in the Portal on a global scale through our cultural centers and science advisers."
Ateş pointed out that aside from being a portal that addresses students and academics, TABİP will also enable the sharing of business partnerships on science and knowledge-based projects, allow businesspeople and investors to get into partnerships with relevant projects conducted across the world, and seek academic, technological or economic support in the projects on a global level, adding that the portal addresses students, academics, universities and businesspeople. Ateş finally remarked that Turkey needs this project for three main reasons: "First of all, the world needs to know about Turkey's spending on academic and scientific developments, innovations and products. Secondly, the academic and scientific developments in Turkey must be shared with the world. And thirdly, the knowledge produced in Turkey and in the world need to converge in scientific studies and product development processes. In this scope, we aim to make TABİP a project serving these three primary needs. In Turkey, a lot of investments are made in universities, research and development activities and science, but our means to share this with the international knowledge and information networks have so far been limited. This sharing will be realized thanks to TABİP and the needed information will be instantaneously transferred to enable Turkey's contribution to global production."