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    Oktay Eksi: Upcoming university rector elections will shape Turkey’s future

    Hürriyet Haber
    21.05.2008 - 13:06 | Son Güncelleme:

    Even Turkey's capital, Ankara has not yet become overly preoccupied with a very important issue soon to be decided that will determine the future of Turkey.

    We will come face to face the consequences of this development in August when at 21 universities around the country, elections will be held for new university rectors.

    In other words, around a fourth of the country’s 85 state universities' will determine their future with the outcome of these elections.

    The election of a university rector no longer means simply electing an executive who will govern the university. University rectors in Turkey can play a very important role, aside from governing universities on a day to day basis; they have a greater power to affect our life style with the increased authority given to them by law.

    To clarify this situation, these 21 newly elected university rectors can choose to either cultivate new generations of Turkish youth that respect the basic values of the Turkish Republic by adhering to the Turkish Council of Higher Education guidelines, or they can spent their efforts to meet the expectations of the political conjuncture in the country.

    I think, a few sentences of an interview published on May 6, in Kuzey Ekspres daily newspaper in Trabzon best explain just how delicate a conjecture we are passing through.

    In an exert from the interview with Prof. Doc. Aydın Dumanoglu, former rector of the Black Sea Technical University (KTU), who will also participate in the upcoming elections at the university, the dialog between Dumanoglu and the reporter is as follows:

    "It is said that religious communities have power at KTU and those close to this community support you?"

     To which Dumanoglu responded: "I do not know whom they will support but most of them are not supporting me."

    The journalist continued: "How many of university lecturers at KTU do you think are members of religious communities?"

    "I can not give exact number. But I estimate that the number of those supporting a group determined as Fethullah supporters are about 80. Another group close to Turkey daily newspaper, known as Isikcilar, is around 15-20. And another 40-50 university lecturers are supporters of another religious community." Dumanoglu responded.

    "According to your statements, approximately one fourth of lecturers at KTU are supporters of religious communities," the journalist noted.

    "It seems that way," replied Dumanoglu.

    "I think these communities also existed in the past," the journalist hinted.

    "There were not so many in the past. There was no separation like we have now in the past." Dumanoglu noted.

    This conversation stands as a clear reminder to those participating in the vote and responsible for appointing university rectors of the huge responsibility they carry.

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