New bug discovered in southeastern Turkey named after former Agriculture Minister İyriboz

Scientists in the southeastern province of Mardin have discovered a new, seemingly harmless bug that lives in cherry orchards and have named it after former Agriculture Minister Nihat Şevket İyriboz.

Duvar English

Scientists that have discovered a new, seemingly harmless bug in the cherry orchards of the southeastern province of Mardin have decided to name it after former Agriculture and Minister Nihat Şevket İyriboz, Demirören news agency reported on Dec. 1. 

“We have no record of the species being harmful or beneficial,” said Dr. İnanç Özgen, from the bioengineering faculty of Fırat University, “The most honorable aspect of this species for us is that it is named after Nihat Şevket İyriboz.”

Dr. İnanç Özgen and his colleagues, Dr. Serdar Tezcan, from the Agriculture Department of Ege University, and medical student researcher Barış Çerçi from Hacettepe University, discovered the Phytocoris iyribozi species in the cherry orchards of Mardin’s Ömerli district.

The bug appears to be from the Phytocoris “plant bug” family, small bugs similar to bedbugs. Serdar Tezcan decided on the name, and Özgen said it is was a way of honoring former Minister İyriboz’s contributions to “the establishment of our country's agriculture and agricultural oversight institutes.” The name was first announced in the journal Zoology in the Middle East last month.

The scientists say that İyriboz was one of the first environmental and plant protectionists in Turkey. İyriboz founded one of Turkey’s first pesticide research institutes and was Agriculture Minister in the 1950s. He later went on to serve as a Democratic Party (DP) lawmaker. He was tried and imprisoned in the government purge that occurred after the coup of 1960.

Samples of the new species will be kept in  Lodos Entomology Museum (LEMT) in the Aegean province of İzmir. Experts will observe, in particular, the feeding patterns of the bug to better understand its effect on plants and wildlife. 

Nihat Şevket İyriboz
Former Minister Nihat Şevket İyriboz.

(English version by Erin O’Brien)