04:34 GMT +321 August 2019
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    Turkish Environment Minister Veysel Eroglu speaks during a meeting on water-sharing issues in Ankara.(File)

    Turkish Minister Thinks NASA is 'Inadequate,' Own Space Program 'Better'

    © AFP 2019 / ADEM ALTAN
    Middle East
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    So apparently, Turkey is the world’s leader when it comes to the development of space programs and aerospace research, or at least that’s what Turkish Forestry and Waterworks Minister Veysel Eroglu believes.

    Known for developing  dams, sewages and water treatment centers across Turkey, Veysel Eroglu must certainly be a good professional in his own field of expertise; however, when it comes to aerospace research and aeronautics it looks like the man is a bit naïve, to say the least.

    Eroglu claimed that the Turkish space program is "better" than NASA's technology, which according to the minister is "inadequate."

    "Who does NASA think it is? We're better than them," Eroglu said in the Turkish parliament, according to Hurryiet Daily News.

    The Minister of Forestry and Waterworks also added that Turkish aerospace technology is ahead of NASA's.

    "They might have satellites, but we have our Gokturk [Turkey's observation satellite]," Eroglu said.

    It's certainly a good thing to have a firm belief and optimism in your country's technology, but it should come with a healthy dose of reality.

    Until now Turkey has only managed to send two satellites into orbit. Since Ankara can't even launch satellites itself it, but rather has to depend on other countries to do it. The pride and joy of Turkey's space program, Gokturk-2, was launched from Russia in 2011, for example.

    Meanwhile, "inadequate" NASA aero-scientists are currently managing over 500 active satellites in space.

    The Turkish government recently announced it aims to become a "space power" in the near future and send 16 satellites into space by 2020. Not bad for a start, but chances are that in four years the number of NASA satellites would go well beyond 500.

    Eroglu's ignorant comments come a month after NASA scientists said that the region of Levant [which includes Turkey] had the worst drought in 900 years between 1998 and 2012. NASA scientists argued that the drought was caused by human industrial activity.

    It looks like all of those dams and water treatment centers that Mr. Eroglu and his friends built all over Turkey might have had some serious environmental effects. And when NASA pointed out this, it made the Turkish minister mad, making him to lash out against the US space agency.

    This isn't the first time when a high-ranking Turkish public figure has said something ridiculous and quite embarrassing. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's wife Emine Erdogan recently said that harems in the Ottoman Empire were a good thing, as they provided women with education.

    Well, not so fast Mrs. Erdogan, Turkish historian Ayse Hur, clearly someone with a much better knowledge of the Ottoman history, said Erdogan's comments were nonsense, because harems were nothing but the institutions of slavery for women.


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