Aziz Sancar at Kristal Elma 2016

by Irem Sokullu 0

When his recommendations to youngsters are asked, he said  work hard. Follow the things going around you. Use new technologies in your business. That is the secret of my successes.”

At Kristal Elma 2016 event we watched Aziz Sancar documentary made by Nebil Özgentürk. He is such an amazing person. The documentary was also very well prepared. Then we connected to the USA and listened to his speech.
(In TR:

DNA repair and the biological clock are the central issues in Aziz Sancar’s scientific studies.

DNA repair is necessary for both the prevention and improvement of cancer. Sancar said that the Piri Reis map of DNA repair is done. ( He mentioned his latest article published a week ago from his speech in a scientific journal. (Cisplatin-DNA damage and repair maps of the human genome at single-nucleotide resolution) He said “we conducted the research on how Cisplatin, the most widely used medicine in cancer treatment destroys DNA and the human genome and how cancer cells protect themselves against it. This study will help cancer treatment”.

When his recommendations to youngsters were asked, he said ‘work hard. Follow the things going around you. Use new technologies in your job. That is the secret of my success.”

Work hard” is a message commonly given by successful people. If you would like to make a difference, your intelligence cannot be the only thing you can trust. You have to practice, think about what you work on and remain deprived of many pleasure.

Educated people are mostly considered as intelligent, learned and lucky, and as if their success comes with it without working. Aziz Sancar gives the best answer to prove it wrong by saying:

I studied in Istanbul, but I saw the Dolmabahçe Palace after I was graduated from the Faculty of Medicine and I have never had a vacation in my entire life.

It’s hard to believe that Aziz Sancar never took a vacation in his 40 years Nobel journey but extraordinary success stories come with long-term work.

Sancar’s childhood story explains the level of his patience to us:

I was known as stubborn in the family. There is a saying in Turkey “stubborn as a donkey”. We had a garden two km away from our house. On the day I rode the donkey to the garden and 100 m to the garden it stopped and refused to move. Both of us were called stubborn. So I did not touch it and just waited who would give up. One hour turned to five hours. I don’t know exactly how much time passed. The donkey gave up and walked.”

His wife Gwen Sancar, Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics, is his biggest supporter. The Turkish house project that they carry out together is critical for them. The aim of the project, of which the second house is under construction is to help the Turkish youth that go to the USA to adapt the culture. Besides it is presumed that 90% of Americans have no idea about Turkey and Sancars want to help the advertisement of our country.

He invited everybody to be part of the project by saying “I do not want to get any support from the Turkish government. I wish this house to belong Turkish people. We expect support from the Turkish people”.

The answer to the question “who is your role model” was “Atatürk.” He continued “when I examine Atatürk, I realize he always put science and technology to the forefront. Progress does not only come by saying patriotic words. We need to improve our scientific skills if we want to catch other countries”.

We feel his love to his country every moment and his words “two things never change in my life, working hard and my patriotism. I think a lot how I can bring peace to Turkey. If I find a way, I will leave the Nobel and science and come back. Peace in Turkey is my only wish” brought us and himself into tears.

Turkey is very lucky to have a treasure like Aziz Sancar.