Turkey is mourning the passing of one of its most well-known scientists, Oktay Sinanoglu, dubbed the “Turkish Einstein.”
An expert in theoretical chemistry and molecular biology, Sinanoglu died late on Sunday at the age of 80 in the United States.
A statement on a Facebook account bearing his name said the “pride of our country, and fighter for [the] Turkish language” died at 3 a.m. local time.
Sinanoglu had been in a coma in a Miami hospital, according to his wife Dilek Sinanoglu.
No medical statement has been released into the cause of death.
Born in Bari, Italy in 1935, Sinanoglu was just 28 when he became a full professor at Yale University in 1963 – the youngest person to achieve such a position.
According to Yale, Professor Sinanoglu moved on from his early work on the “Many-Electron Theory of Atoms and Molecules” to develop in 1988 a method for chemists to solve difficult problems by using a simplified system of images and periodic tables.
A 2001 series of interviews with the scientist, entitled “Turkish Einstein, Oktay Sinanoglu,” is one of the country’s most popular books.
Sinanoglu’s 2005 book “Bye Bye Turkish” saw the scientist argue for the preservation of the Turkish language.
According to his wife, Sinanoglu had been preparing to publish another book entitled, “Turkiye nereden nereye.”
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu offered condolences on his Twitter account saying: “May God rest his soul.” He added: “Our Miami Consulate General is following the necessary process to transport of his body to our country.”
Details of when or where Sinanoglu will be buried remains unclear.