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Turkey aims to bring researchers back home

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A program to bring Turkish researchers back home will be launched on Dec. 15, Turkey’s technology and industry minister said on Wednesday, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The International Fellowship for Outstanding Researchers program aims to attract top-level researchers to make contributions to projects with strategic value, Mustafa Varank said at the opening ceremony of a smart technologies exhibition, Smart Future Expo 2018, in Istanbul.

Varank said the program, which is a pioneer in terms of the opportunities provided to researchers, would be conducted in coordination with the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK).

The program will also include foreign researchers and provide incentives in eight fields, Varank added.

The ministry is planning to pay a monthly salary of TL 20,000 ($3,600) to young researchers and TL 24,000 ($4,400) to more experienced professionals, along with allowances for families and doctoral students for each research project.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently complained that no Turkish university was included among the top 500 worldwide, suggesting that newly founded universities should be filled with bright academics.

After a failed coup in 2016, Turkey purged some 4,500 academics from state and private universities.

According to a report by Deutsche Welle Turkish service, almost 70,000 university students were in jail in Turkey as of January 2018.

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