CHP leader criticizes rector appointments

CHP leader criticizes rector appointments

CHP leader criticizes rector appointments

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s appointment of university rectors.

Erdoğan is appointing anybody who is loyal to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to the universities, the CHP leader said.

“YÖK [Higher Education Board] is the result of the Sept. 12 coup (1980) law. It continues today. The legal regulations of the Sept. 12 putschists are still in effect. The way rectors were appointed then is the same way they are appointed today,” Kılıçdaroğlu told reporters Jan. 5.

Universities, instead, should have academic sovereignty, Kılıçdaroğlu said, emphasizing the importance of free thought.

Kılıçdaroğlu also criticized the firing of academics for releasing a joint peace declaration, “A university must have scientific autonomy, administrative and financial autonomy,” he stated.

The CHP leader made the comments in response to a question regarding large student protests at Bogaziçi University over the appointment of a new rector who has close ties with Erdoğan’s party.

The new rector, Melih Bulu, who ran for the AKP in the 2015 parliamentary elections, has said he wants to make Boğaziçi a “world-class university.”

Boğaziçi University,