Turkey’s repossession of a collection of ancient seeds from the British Institute in Ankara has caused a rift between the members of my family. Seeing as both parents have a PhD in weedy science, less commonly known as plant biology, it was rather inevitable. Although, on this occasion, I’ve found I too have taken a side.
In my opinion, Turkey is well within its rights to confiscate the collection. The work may have been paid for and carried out by a British scientist, and the specimens may have been available for any researcher to use, but this still doesn’t mean Britain has any claim to them. The seeds were taken from soil that belongs to Turkey, therefore they belong to and have to remain the property of the country.
All potatoes are Peruvian no doubt…..
What really worries is that this world view contains no room at all for the very idea of “private property”. It is not true that all things and everything belong to some government or other, our task only being to find out which one. And this is in The Times……makes those columns about whether Britain should sell AIM understandable now. They’ve just not grasped that as Britain doesn’t own the company then the country doesn’t get to decide who does own the company.