ABSTRACT

Succeeding a period of wars and political turmoil, the reassuring policies of the new regime of Turkey positively influenced all branches of science, including geology which provided a basis for the earliest studies in paleontology, as it had done in the former Ottoman Turkey. Although most of the specialists were still foreigners during the early years of the republic, the government of Turkey under the leadership of Atatürk, rapidly established modern institutions in order to train native earth scientists and engineers of all sorts. Turkish paleontologists began to replace their foreign colleagues by the 1940s; and female Turkish paleontologists became especially prominent not only in the universities but also in the national geological surveys and mapping, and in fossil fuel exploration. Subsequent to their separation from departments of natural sciences, teaching fundamentals of paleontology was taken on by geology departments which, by the 1960s, started to evolve into departments of geological engineering. As a result, most Turkish paleontologists are geologists and most of them specialized either in micropaleontology or paleobotany. In contrast, paleontology of late Cenozoic mammals is dominated by graduates of anthropology programs.

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