Erdogan appoints university rectors, including pro-AKP Nihat Hatipoğlu

Controversial appointments at Turkish universities have previously been slammed with yet another latest one that is bound to raise eyebrows.

In a move that goes further to undermine Turkey’s Constitutional democracy, mediatic theologian Professor and Dr. Nihat Hatipoglu is among the new six university rectors appointed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The official gazette has published the names.

With Turkey facing the devastation of poor education across all grades and higher education, such an appointment is viewed as not helping the country shape in a direction that seeks solutions.

Nihat Hatipoğlu, a famous Islamic author is appointed as a Rector by President Erdogan. (Photo: Gazete Duvar)

Hatipoglu is considered to be a lackey of the AKP party and embedded, also known for his TV religious programs. He has been appointed as a rector of the Gaziantep Islamic Science and Technology University.

Professor and Dr Osman Selçuk will be the rector of Aydın Adnan Menderes University, which is in the south-western part of the country. Professor and Dr Handan İnci Elçi was appointed by Erdoğan as a rectorate of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University.

The other appointed rectors are Professor and Dr. Ali Murat Ferman to Beykent University, Professor and. Dr. Cumhur Çökmüş to Konya Food and Agriculture University and Professor Dr. Muhammed Şahin was appointed to MEF University as a new rector.

According to the Gazette, another appointment is that of Pr. Mehmet İsmail Safa Kapıcıoğlu, chosen by the Inter-University Board for the Presidency of the Council of Higher Education (YOK) for a single term.

Professor and. Dr M.A. Yekta Saraç, Naci Ağbal, Professor and Dr İsmail Demir, Dr İbrahim Kalın, Professor and Dr Mehmet Özkan and Dr Yener Mehmet Sonuşen were appointed as council members of the Turkish-Japanese Science and Technology University, accordingly with the 5th article signed by the Turkish and Japanese governments on the establishment of a science and technology university between the two countries.

Strategy and Budget chairman Yılmaz Tuna and İstanbul University Lecturer Prof. Dr. Sedat Murat were appointed as a board of visitors of Kyrgyzstan-Turkey Manas University, according to the 5th article agreement signed by the Turkey-Kyrgyzstan on the way of working at Manas University.

Controversial appointments in Turkey’s higher education sector

The direct appointment of university rectors by President Erdogan has stirred up tensions on campuses and criticisms of political interference in the education sector.

Elections for rectors in Turkey’s 181 universities – 111 of them state-run – had been suspended after the July 15 coup, with Erdogan picking winners from a pool of candidates selected by the education authority YOK. If Erdogan doesn’t pick one of the candidates proposed by YOK within a month, he can choose the rector directly.

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