Turkish Universities Furious At Political Interference

Professors at Turkish universities are furious at the decision of President Abdullah Gul of the religious leaning Justice and Development Party(AKP) to ignore recommendations of teh Higher Education Board(YOK) and appoint religious leaning professors to the position of rector of a university. Professor Ural Akbulut, former rector at ODTU, told the Turkish Daily News a university’s recommendation for the post of rector must be respected because college faculty know those on the list and have decided which ones they most highly respect. Professor Kadkri Yamac, former rector of Gazi University in Ankara obtained twice the number of votes as the person who was selected but YOK disregarded the election results and excluded his name from those submitted to Gul.

Business groups like the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association urged politicians to stay out of the university administration and allow the faculty to make decisions. Most university professors believe President Gul is taking revenge against them for refusing to support his efforts to end the ban on wearing a headscarf in a university.