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Aykut Barka, a scientist respected throughout the world for the quality and depth of his research, died on 1 February 2002 from injuries suffered in a car accident five weeks earlier. Barka embodied the highest calling of science in service to the public. He was known for his unstinting integrity; his humor, openness, and selflessness; his plain talk to the Turkish public; and his tireless efforts to convince the Turkish government to confront the potential for an earthquake disaster in one of the most vulnerable countries in the world. Barka had been an AGU member (Seismology) since 1990.