Two Turkish-German scientists who co-founded BioNTech, the German firm that developed a COVID-19 vaccine together with Pfizer, visited Ataturk House in Greece on Wednesday.
“We hosted Dr Ozlem Tureci and Dr Ugur Sahin at our Consulate General during their visit to Thessaloniki and showed them Ataturk’s House,” the Turkish Consulate General in Thessaloniki said on Twitter.
“They have made an invaluable service to all humanity with the vaccine they developed against the Covid-19 virus,” it added.
Hosted by Turkish Ambassador to Athens Burak Ozugergin at Ataturk House, Tureci and Sahin signed the guest book at the house, where Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, was born in 1881.
“As scientists of Turkish origin, it is an honour for us to visit the place where Ataturk was born. Ataturk, as one of the pioneering leaders of modern Europe, understood the fundamental values that free thought and science have for humanity. We subscribe to his wise words: ‘Science is the only true guide in life,” the couple wrote in the guest book.
The Consulate General also thanked Tureci and Sahin “for their visit and their interest in our Consulate General in Thessaloniki and wish them success in their future research.”
Sahin and Tureci are a husband-and-wife team who surprised the world when they announced that the vaccine they developed together with US pharmaceutical company Pfizer was more than 90% effective at preventing COVID-19.
Theirs was the first vaccine released, faster than many had predicted, and it relied on cutting-edge mRNA technology that Sahin and Tureci had championed.