The editor of leading Turkish science magazine Bilim ve Teknik (Science and Technology) has been removed from her post after she attempted to lead with a story on Charles Darwin in the latest issue. The magazine is published by a Turkish government agency, the Scientific and Technological Research Council (TÜBİTAK) and, according to Nature, the council's vice-president, Ömer Cebeci, stepped in at the last minute to ensure that Bilim ve Teknik's March issue did not include the Darwin cover story. The article was dropped from the magazine and, as you see in the picture here (which comes from this Turkish report on the story), the Darwin cover was replaced with one on global warming. In a subsequent interview with Turkish paper Milliyet, the magazine's editor, Çiğdem Atakuman, confirmed that she had lost her job over the matter.
Unsurprisingly, a row has now broken out over science and censorship in Turkey, with leading scientists calling for Ömer Cebeci to resign as vice-president of TÜBİTAK. Evolution is a hugely controversial issue in Turkey which, as many of you will be aware, is home to the notorious Islamic creationist Adnan Oktar, AKA Harun Yahya. If this is a sign that the anti-evolution lobby is influencing the decisions of Turkey's scientific research council, then it is very worrying indeed.
Wednesday, 11 March 2009
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