Senin, 16 Juli 2012


A bit of history today, on probably the darkest years of the 20th century: Albert Einsteinplayed a key role in facilitating the transfer of an important number of intellectuals to the safe-haven provided by the Turkish government. Firstly, Einstein helped place some of theseJewish intellectuals in US institutions but eventually realised that Turkey was more ‘open‘ to welcome these scholars and professors.

Turkish “Schindlers” are estimated to have saved the lives of 10,000. Many Jews foundrefuge in Turkey during those”Desperate Hours,” the title of an excellent documentary on this subject. In 1934, some 130 Jewish or partly Jewish (and 70 who were not Jewish) academics were welcomed in Turkey, from Germany and Austria… possibly an increased number from the forty Einstein was humbly seeking to be granted refuge, in the letter above.

With the initiative of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, scholars were invited to Turkey. The scholars who came to Turkey were instrumental in effectuating reforms in the Turkish universities. They were the ones who established the foundation of many branches.

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