Turkey’s Higher Education Board suspends four rectors
ANKARAThe Higher Education Board (YÖK) has suspended four rectors and accepted the requested resignations of over 1,500 deans, amid a nationwide crackdown following the failed July 15 military coup attempt.
The rectors of Yıldız Technical University, Gazi University, Dicle University and Yalova University were suspended for “the wellbeing of several investigations that are being carried out,” Anadolu Agency reported on July 20.
YÖK has accepted the resignations of 1,577 deans who it asked to resign.
“We thank the universities for cooperating on this issue,” read a statement released by YÖK on July 20, adding that the necessary assignments would be made as soon as possible.
YÖK on July 19 demanded the resignation of 1,557 deans on duty at all private and state universities throughout Turkey, of whom 1,176 are from state universities and 401 are from private universities.
In a related case, a total of 95 academic personnel were suspended from Istanbul University.
In addition, Gazi University’s rector Professor Süleyman Büyükberber was detained.
YÖK also suspended all assignments of academics abroad and asked for the academics currently assigned abroad to return to Turkey.
In a written statement sent to both state and private universities, YÖK requested the suspension of the assignments of academics to foreign countries until further notice. It also demanded examinations of the situations of academics working abroad and said they should be called back if there was no immediate necessity for them to remain in the foreign country.
In addition, YÖK also asked the rectors of all universities to evaluate the situations of the academic and administrative personnel suspected of having links to the “Fehullahist Terrorist Organization/Parallel State Structure (FETÖ/PDY)” of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, and to take action against them.
The board asked for the results to be sent by Aug. 5.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s Education Ministry announced on July 20 that it had shut down an allegedly Gülen movement-affiliated university in the capital Baku.
The closure of Qafqaz University comes a few days after a failed coup attempt in Turkey, which the government suspects of being organized by followers of Gülen.
Qafqaz University was established in 1993 and is seen as the first Gülen-linked university abroad.
“The founder of the university applied to the ministry to submit the university board’s decision to close down,” the university said in a statement.
“After receiving the documents regarding closure from the university, it will create a working group in order to ensure the continuation of education of the Qafqaz University students and will carry out the process of their placement,” it added.
Meanwhile, a total of 6,538 people were suspended from the Education Ministry on July 20. The number of suspended personnel from the ministry has reached 21,738.
A total of 15,200 Education Ministry personnel were suspended due to their alleged links to FETÖ on July 19.