Sibel (Barut) Kusimba, the daughter of the late Asım Barut

To whom it may concern:

I’m the daughter of Asım Barut, a theoretical physicist, deceased in
1995, who loved his country very much. Born in 1927, he left Turkey as a
young man to study in the ETH in Switzerland, where he met my mother.
They emigrated to the USA where he based his international career in
theoretical physics until his unfortunate death. Later in life he came
back to Turkey, working to create the International Centre for Physics
and Mathematics in Edirne shortly before his untimely demise.

I’m sure that he would be very concerned to hear about the unfortunate
and poorly explained decision to close Feza Gürsey Institute. Seeing this
decision through the lens of history and my father’s life, it truly seems to be
taking Turkey backwards. In his day, a young student such as himself
had no choice but to go abroad to seek educational opportunities. The consequence
for him was that he ended up living and working abroad, yet another example of the
“brain drain” that often effects countries without sufficient opportunities for its own
citizens. I think my father would scarcely recognize the economically dynamic and
politically increasingly powerful country that Turkey has become on the world stage
in recent years. With this kind of rapid economic growth comes a responsibility
to plan carefully, along with all the potential for political mistakes. Turkey
still has many young people whose tremendous potential has yet to be tapped,
the most important economic resource. Institutions that will build the human
resource potential of well-educated scientists and engineers would seem to be a number
one priority for any country in the global economy today. Therefore, I urge the government
to reconsider this decision.

Sibel (Barut) Kusimba

Associate Professor of Anthropology
Northern Illinois University
De Kalb, IL 60115


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