Einstein in Turkey


CSL President, Brian LaBine, met a gentleman by the name of Dr. Hilmi Orhan, at the recent SOT conference. Dr. Orhan is a Professor of Toxicology at Ege University in Turkey and a member of the Turkish Society of Toxicology. Dr. Orhan picked up an Einstein at the show; and, as he usually does, Brian asked him if would send a photo from his home country of Turkey.

He exceeded expectations, to say the least.

He sent the photo (above), which has the photo of Einstein in his office alongside Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey in 1923.



Dr. Orhan explained the reason for the photograph with Ataturk.

Einstein wrote a letter to Ataturk about Jewish scientists in Germany during the difficult times of Adolf Hitler (1933), with a request that whether the new Turkish Republic may accept them as faculty, in order to save their lives. Ataturk accepted and invited Einstein to Turkey, as well. However, Einstein preferred to go to the United States instead.

Upon Einstein’s request, 40 mainly Jewish scientists (including German ones) were welcomed for working at Turkish universities for many years. Some were retired and lived until the end of their lives in Turkey.


EinsteinDr. Orhan enclosed the photo of the letter which Einstein wrote to Ataturk, along w/ photos of Ataturk. (Below).

Not only did we find this to be a fascinating story; but also, a great example of how Science unites us all around the globe.

Thank you Dr. Orhan for sharing this fascinating piece of history.


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