Ankara University changes internal rule in order to reject expelled Turkish academic as student
Ankara University issued a new rule in its internal regulations, indicating that it would not register students who were previously expelled from public office, after an expelled academic announced that he was planning to return to the university as an undergraduate student.
On Aug. 8, the same day as the student selection and placement results were announced, Ankara University added a new article to its regulations stating the following: “Candidates who have earned enrollment at the university should not have received a punishment of being dismissed from a high education institution, and should not have been expelled from public service for any reason.”
The move came after Cenk Yiğiter, a former research assistant at Ankara University’s Faculty of Law who was dismissed with a state of emergency decree, was set to return to his university as an undergraduate student of journalism.
Yiğiter was expelled from the university on Jan. 6 after signing the Academics for Peace petition, which criticized security operations in the southeast.
He later undertook the national university entrance exam this year and earned an enrollment spot to attend Ankara University’s Faculty of Communication for the 2017-2018 education year.
Yiğiter has vowed that despite the new regulation, it is his “fundamental right” to register at the university.
“The right to education is a fundamental right. Even if there is a definite conviction on my behalf and I am in prison serving my sentence, I can still enter the [university entrance] exam and become a student of Ankara University. This situation is still valid despite the new regulation. According to [the rule change], an inmate in jail can register at this university but I cannot,” he told the Bianet news website.
Yiğiter also said he will file a lawsuit for the annulment of the university’s new ruling.
“The constitution says fundamental rights and liberties can only be limited by law. So a process that can be only done with a law cannot be undertaken through a university’s regulation,” he added.