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17 Mar 2022
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Prof Dr. Levent Kenar: We must learn ways to protect ourselves from nuclear and chemical weapons

In a world where wars and viruses are rampant, CBRN is an educational institution that everyone living in this geography should know. It stands for "chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense." Head of Department Prof. Dr. Kenar tells and warns about the new life…

After Russia's attack on Ukraine, the threat of using chemical and nuclear weapons from both sides increases. It is a matter of common concern that this hot conflict will pose a great danger to the world in this direction...

CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense) at the University of Health Sciences in "Winning Conversations" Date: 16 March 2022 - 08:15 Head of Department Prof. Dr. Levent Kenar is our guest… Prof., whose knowledge is frequently consulted, first about Kovid 19 and then about the increasing nuclear danger concern with the war. Kenar and I talked about the topics we were curious about…

In the coming periods, we will unfortunately wait for wars with CBRN weapons consisting of these substances and agents. From now on, it will not be like we detonate a conventional bomb or send a missile. When a missile is launched, more matter will spread around and there will be the use of substances that will affect both the environment and the living things more. In fact, we are experiencing this right now.

“UKRAINE REGRETS THEIR NUCLEAR HEADS TO RUSSIA, MAYBE DUE TO THE BUDAPEST AGREEMENT MADE IN TIME”

- Mr. Kenar, there is a war very close to us, which is getting hotter day by day. What kind of nuclear or chemical hazards are there, first for our country and then for the world?

- First of all, thank you for giving me the opportunity to do such an interview. I welcome you to the world of CBRN.

The former name of our "CBRN" department, which consists of the first letters of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear, was NBC. Later, apart from its use for war purposes, nuclear power plants or the peaceful use of radiation, for example, tomography devices, radiation oncology, active use of radiation in nuclear medicine, radiation accidents in our daily lives, and exposure to radiation in hospitals with a more defensive understanding, CBRN (CBRN as its name in the world) A concept called

In fact, as you said, nuclear weapons pose the most important threat here. However, these are not the only issues that have come to the fore with the recent Russia-Ukraine conflict. Substances that have already been used by countries and terrorist groups in various wars, conflict environments, over the years. In the coming periods, we will unfortunately wait for wars with CBRN weapons consisting of these substances and agents. From now on, it will not be like we detonate a conventional bomb or send a missile. When a missile is launched, more matter will spread around and there will be the use of substances that will affect both the environment and the living things more. In fact, we are experiencing this right now.

If we look at the event in the context of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which were already used; most recently we have seen this in the Syrian civil war in the form of the use of chemical weapons as weapons of mass destruction. In this civil war, chemical weapons have been used 161 times since 2013. These are the events that have been reported. Only about 6 thousand people lost their lives due to these chemical weapons, we cannot count the injured. They are also not accounted for

Now there are two great powers in the world: the United States of America and Russia… In both of them, these CBRN weapons that we are talking about very clearly are available in large quantities. These are the weapons that are still produced. As far as Russia is known, its nuclear weapons stocks are around 4,900. These are already loaded on intercontinental missile-style launchers and are included as Russian ammunition. And there are those who are waiting in reserve. We now exclude them from the class. The same power exists in the United States, with almost the same numbers - balancing them out. Legally, more precisely, the number of countries with nuclear power such as the numbers accepted by the world does not exceed 10. Among those that have been officially announced, there are countries such as England, France, North Korea, China, Pakistan, and India.

In the last incident, the concern came to the fore as follows. There are four reactors in Chernobyl and an accident occurred here in 1986. Radiation spread to Southeastern Europe and to our country, causing a great danger. Its fate is still ongoing. The chronic effect of radiation is greater than the acute effect. Radiation received by the body rather than its immediate effect creates a genotoxic effect as a result of toxic effects on cells or deterioration of cells and genetic structure. This situation has a toxic effect on the gene structure as well as disrupting the division of tissues and producing abnormal cells. Radiation has that kind of effect. The same is true for many chemical weapons. Biological weapons were also brought up a short time ago.

Some organizations and activities for weapons of mass destruction took place in Ukraine, the former Soviet Union country of the United States. It is very clear against whom NATO and the USA did this, against Russia. Right now both sides are looking out for each other. Maybe Ukraine regretted the timely Budapest agreement. Because they handed over their nuclear warheads to Russia… Having nuclear weapons is a show of strength, a reason to feel safe… This adventure first started in 1945, with the dropping of two atomic bombs in Japan, which ended the Second World War. At the moment, each of these five thousand nuclear-tipped missiles we are talking about is about 500 times more powerful than these atomic bombs. Such a threat currently exists.

“WE HAVE A NUCLEAR WEAPON, IT IS AN IMPORTANT EVENT, ACTUALLY, THE PERCEPTION OF THREATS HAS STRENGTHENED THAT COUNTRY TO MANY MAKES IT SUCCESSFUL IN THE FIELD”

- To summarize, is it possible to say that there are some CBRN weapons in Ukraine under the supervision of NATO and the USA, and they pose a mutual threat?

Of course, after all, this is all a show of power. Where do they get this power? Saying "we have nuclear weapons" is actually an important event. Indeed, having nuclear weapons creates a great threat to the other side. This perception of threat makes that country successful in many areas.

I should mention a paradox. How did the United States' invasion of Iraq develop? “We invaded this country because of its weapons of mass destruction,” he said. Now a similar situation applies. This time again, there is a country with weapons of mass destruction, this is Russia, the blame is similar... Having these weapons is a different power...

“REFUGES ARE VERY IMPORTANT, BUT WE ALREADY HAVE SOME STRENGTHS ABOUT THE REFUGE, WE ARE NOT ENOUGH” MAKES IT SUCCESSFUL IN THE FIELD”

- It is claimed that there is a great interest in gas masks and radiation-protected clothing in the world. What precautions can be taken in case of a possible threat?

It is true that there are various equipments and an interest in them has increased. The first principle of protection from CBRN agents and weapons of mass destruction is to be aware of them. There is a saying "expect the unexpected, hope for the unexpected". This is such a situation. Even as we speak here, these substances are in a shopping mall, in a subway, God forbid. 

available. In this regard, it is necessary to be alert and create a certain perception. Awareness is needed in this regard. These can be 
achieved through the media, through training. Currently, our department is still the only academic unit in Turkey in terms of CBRN.

In other words, the former GATA is our department within the current University of Health Sciences. In this respect, we have trained 
more than two thousand people, especially in government institutions. We have certified them. We tried to raise awareness on this issue. 
Can we say enough? Of course it's not enough. It will always be better. It is also necessary to have a certain stock and protective materials. 
It is not possible to supply masks and clothes to the entire population. However, it is necessary to attach great importance to the supply or 
stocking of these protective materials in critical areas or geographical areas that may pose a threat. To give an example of these materials, 
we can count from the classic masks to the masks that protect from radiation with special filters and from radiation protective clothing, from 
chemical weapons to protective clothing.
 

In fact, for the last two years, everyone has been wearing these in one way or another due to the covid. Even the simplest mask worn on the street is a form of protective clothing. Of course, when it comes to the dimension of chemical weapons or nuclear weapons, it may be recommended to use more complicated masks with more filtration power and higher performance. Because these are substances that are dangerous by inhalation in the first place. If we breathe this chemical without a mask, it is dangerous. Apart from that, if we do not have suitable clothes, harmful effects on the skin can be seen from both radiation and chemical weapons. These measures need to be taken.

In order to create a classic disaster awareness, it is necessary to become more conscious. After all, they are disasters. It can be placed in 
rooms with few windows in the house. Shelters are very important, but we already have a problem with shelter, we are not very adequate.
The car parks in the basements of the apartments can be used as shelters. It is good to take such precautions.

 

available. In this regard, it is necessary to be alert and create a certain perception. Awareness is needed in this regard. These can be 
achieved through the media, through training. Currently, our department is still the only academic unit in Turkey in terms of CBRN.
The first principle of protection from CBRN agents and weapons of mass destruction is to be aware of them.
In other words, the former GATA is our department within the current University of Health Sciences. In this respect, we have trained 
more than two thousand people, especially in government institutions. We have certified them. We tried to raise awareness on this issue. 
Can we say enough? Of course it's not enough. It will always be better. It is also necessary to have a certain stock and protective materials. 
It is not possible to supply masks and clothes to the entire population. However, it is necessary to attach great importance to the supply or 
stocking of these protective materials in critical areas or geographical areas that may pose a threat. To give an example of these materials, 
we can count from the classic masks to the masks that protect from radiation with special filters and from radiation protective clothing, from 
chemical weapons to protective clothing.

In order to create a classic disaster awareness, it is necessary to become more conscious. After all, they are disasters. It can be placed in 
rooms with few windows in the house. Shelters are very important, but we already have a problem with shelter, we are not very adequate.
The car parks in the basements of the apartments can be used as shelters. It is good to take such precautions.

The first principle of protection from CBRN agents and weapons of mass destruction is to be aware of them.
There is a saying "expect the unexpected, hope for the unexpected". This is such a situation. Even as we speak here, these 
substances can be used in a shopping mall, in a subway, God forbid. In this regard, it is necessary to be alert and create a certain 
perception. Awareness is needed in this regard.

“BIOTTERROR AS A TERRORIST ATTACK IN OUR DAILY ROUTINE WITHOUT ANNOUNCEMENT WE MAY EXPOSURE TO AGENTS OR BIOLOGICAL WAR”


- There is a claim that future wars will be biologically based. What are your views on this?

Not only biological but also nuclear and chemical weapons may be involved. Even laser weapons are now being talked about. 
There are also weapons that use laser technology, and we will now begin to see laser injuries.

In fact, for the last two years, we have been defending ourselves as if we were exposed to biological weapons. We lead such a life, 
it is no different. When we look at these microorganisms or biological weapons on the list of the American Centers for Disease 
Control and Prevention, they are more toxic and more lethal when we compare them with the covid agent. Therefore, the terminology 
and the way of formation of future wars will be different if we understand that this is war. This war can take place without the use of an 
agent. We can also be exposed to bioterrorism agents or biological warfare as a terrorist attack in our daily routine, without name. There 
is no question of two great armies fighting each other on the plain as in the past. Now a war can take place during our routine life.

“CLAIMING THAT THE CORONA VIRUS IS MANUFACTURED OR RELEASED IN A BIOLOGICAL PURPOSE CLOSE TO MIND"

- As your words suggest, the possibility of the Kovid 19 virus being artificial has been discussed a lot, and I guess you 
have different views on this issue. Can you share them with us?


There are some clues to the use of bioweapons. The following epidemic has been seen in a geographical region for years, such as an 
epidemic in winter or a different epidemic in summer. Apart from these, the outbreak of an epidemic in that region is a question mark.
Another clue from the use of biological weapons is the appearance of different symptoms. For example, in anthrax, blood fills in the 
lung cavity, which is a finding unique to anthrax. There are certain symptoms in normal infectious diseases, other than that, atypical 
findings raise suspicion. For example, the finding in Kovid is the loss of smell and taste. For example, the presence of such findings is 
decisive. Apart from that, most of the microorganisms are sensitive or resistant to various geographical and meteorological conditions.
But when we look at Kovid, we see that it can survive and affect people in almost every geography, every season.

When we look at the exit point, we learn that it is a bat. After that, we know that it spread by infecting people. But there is actually 
a gap between the human and the bat. There needs to be an intermediate host there. At the moment he has not been found, it is not 
clear, this situation and this is a question mark. It could be a lab accident. Moreover, this lab has a bit of a bad track record. It is known 
that there were many thefts and many accidents from here at the time.

Considering these findings, a doubt arises. Scientists are divided. Some say it's natural, some say it's artificial. When we look at the exit 
point, we learn that it is a bat. After that, we know that it spread by infecting people. But there is actually a gap between the human and 
the bat. There needs to be an intermediate host there. At the moment he has not been found, it is not clear, this situation and this is a 
question mark. It could be a lab accident. Moreover, this lab has a bit of a bad track record. It is known that there were many thefts and 
many accidents from here at the time. At this lab in China, four levels of biosecurity are weak, and it's rumored that the virus can leak 
from there, spreading into the environment. Considering the possibility that the economic war may result in such a biological war in the 
recent Sino-American tensions and the tensions that have arisen in the way of the parties to gain superiority over each other, the claim 
that this virus was produced for biological purposes or that it was released seems plausible.

But I must say this. Even if the original emergence of this virus was a weapon, the later formation of variants is due to natural 
influence rather than manipulation… There are variants developed as a result of natural mutation… Of course, we will see them more 
clearly in the coming years. Discussions about this will continue in the coming years. The most important thing is to reveal some 
scientific findings, and various studies are continuing on those findings. Currently, a cloud of dust prevails, there is no clear situation yet.

“VACCINES ARE STILL THE BEST PROTECTIVE MEASURE, BUT A PSYCHOLOGICAL FAILURE ABOUT THE DISEASE.IMPROVED”

- If we ask you to enlighten us about vaccination, sir... Will the opposition to vaccination end one day?


Actually, I don't think the anti-vaccination is too big. In early 2021, the vaccine began to be found. We've also had vaccinations, still the 
best preventative measure. However, a psychological weariness about the disease developed. Almost every family has lost a relative. 
In 2020, there was one positive case in each family. Unfortunately, one death occurred in every family in 2021. When we look at the 
figures, almost a passenger plane crashes every day. It is absolutely necessary to comply with the rules and recommendations of the 
ministry in this regard.

“WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MIDDLE EAST AND THIS IS A BLASTING REGION WHERE THESE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION ARE MANUFACTURED, STOPPED”

- Finally, is there any message you want to give about a possible war and CBRN defense?

The lesson we, as Turkey, will learn is the fact that such a threat exists. It is an even more exaggerated threat, since the geography 
we are in is surrounded by a huge terror environment. That's why we need to take measures for this. We never say, "Let's make 
nuclear weapons, let's produce chemical-biological weapons", which is meant by these measures.

It is necessary to carry out the maximum of our measures that can only be taken for defensive purposes. Government institutions 
are already taking a lot of initiatives. Numerous defensive measures are taken. But of course, it is necessary to increase these 
even more, at least in geographical regions where there may be a threat, to raise awareness on this issue and to increase 
equipment. We are in the middle of the Middle East, and this is a burning region where such weapons of mass destruction are 
produced and stockpiled. For this purpose, we, as the University of Health Sciences, are implementing the CBRN Training and 
Simulation Center, which will be the first training center in our country, under the leadership of our Rector. We will probably open this 
training center within this year. Not only in Turkey, but perhaps the first in this geography, it is quite advanced. We will have a modern 
training center in the field of CBRN.