Turkish opposition urges parliament to nominate BioNtech co-founders for Nobel

By Emin Avundukluoglu

ANKARA (AA) – A Turkish opposition leader will move a motion in parliament to nominate Turkish-origin co-founders of German pharma company BioNTech for the Nobel prize for leading vaccine development against COVID-19.

Speaking to her Good (IYI) Party's parliamentary group, Meral Aksener noted that Ugur Sahin and Ozlem Tureci did a great service to humanity by developing the vaccine.

Even before the pandemic, they were respected in scientific circles because of their cancer studies, she said.

"That's why today, as the IYI Party, we will demand the Turkish Grand National Assembly to nominate these two scientists, who are the pride of the Turks, for Nobel prizes for their contributions to humanity and the world of science," she said.

"Ugur Sahin and Ozlem Tureci are the unforgettable, loyal children of the Turkish nation, whom we will forever remember with pride. We expect the support of all parties in parliament for this important move," she added.

The pharmaceutical company BioNTech, which was founded by Tureci and Sahin — both children of Turkish immigrants in Germany — in 2008, managed to develop the world’s first effective coronavirus vaccine together with its US partner Pfizer.

BioNTech aims to produce a total of 2 billion doses of the vaccine this year at six production facilities in various countries.