The new head of Turkey’s top science body assigned
ANKARAThe new head of the country’s top science body has been assigned after a reshuffling process within the institution.
Professor Ahmet Arif Ergin has become the new head of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK). His assignment decision was published June 11 in the Official Gazette.
Ergin graduated from the Department of Electric and Electronic Engineering at the Middle East Technical University (METU) in 1992. In 1995, he received his master’s degree in the United States and completed his doctorate studies as a Supreme Education Board (YÖK) scholar in 2000. Between 1992 and 1993, he worked as an analogue design engineer at the ASELSAN MST group. He also worked as an assistant professor at the Gebze High Technology Institute where he became a lecturer and professor. He also simultaneously worked for TÜBİTAK between 2001 and 2005. In February 2014, he was assigned to be the head of TÜBİTAK’s Informatics and Information Security Advanced Technologies Research Center (BİLGEM).
Professor Yücel Altunbaşak, the former head of TÜBİTAK, previously resigned in an agreed resignation after alleged impeachment for hiring an employee with a fake diploma. Altunbaşak and two others were detained on April 14, four days after his resignation, but released later.
TÜBİTAK has recently become a battleground between the government and the followers of its ally-turned-nemesis Fethullah Gülen, a U.S.-based Islamic cleric. The government recently engaged in a massive reshuffling, arguing that the Gülenist “parallel structure” had infiltrated state institutions, including TÜBİTAK, and engaged in illegal wiretapping and forging digital evidence in a number of controversial cases.
In this regard, TÜBİTAK has also rejected a local court’s request for evidence analysis, citing a lack of qualified specialists amid massive layoffs with allegedly political motives.