Dr. Serkan ANILIR is said to be the first Turkish national selected as a NASA astronaut candidate. The statement appears on the author bio of his books, articles about him published in magazines and on the web. [An example of his profile in English]
In fact, in one of his Japanese books "ポケットの中の宇宙" (poketto-no-naka-no-uchuu, the space in your pocket), he tells the vivid story how he became the astronaut candidate. There is even a picture of Dr. Anilir in spacesuit, with the caption "Distributed to media when Dr. Anilir was selected as an astronaut candidate in year 2004." The same picture in color (shown above) appears in the web page announcing Dr. Anilir's lecture at Wakayama University in October 2006.
However, his name cannot be found anywhere in the list of astronauts or astronaut candidates published by NASA.
Moreover, serious problems are pointed out concerning his "spacesuit" picture:
- Such a picture in spacesuit is usually distributed from NASA when the astronaut is commissioned for a flight, but not when he or she is selected as an astronaut candidate.
- The NASA logo on the spacesuit is of an old style, which was discontinued after 1992.
- The spacesuit is also of an old model. Recent models of spacesuit have no joint between arm and shoulder parts (see http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/station/crew-18/html/jsc2007e19404.html )
- The mission badge on the spacesuit is the one for the mission STS-49 launched in 1992.
Hence, there is a strong suspicion that Dr. Anilir's "spacesuit" picture is fabricated from an old picture taken in 1992. In fact, it is very similar to a picture of a NASA astronaut Mr. Richard J. Hieb who was on the STS-49 mission. It seems quite probable that Dr. Anilir's "spacesuit" picture is a fabrication based on the picture of Mr. Hieb in 1992.
Please also check another entry on the spacesuit picture.