Turkish academic at Istanbul Technical University sued over fake PhD
ISTANBULIstanbul Technical University (İTÜ) has sued one of its research assistants for 355,000 Turkish Liras and filed a criminal complaint against him for allegedly holding a fake PhD degree, daily Habertürk reported on April 6.
The university learned the research assistant, identified as Sinan Ö., who had been working at its architecture department since 2001, had presented fake PhD documents to the school when the head of the department sent a thank you email to Berlin Technical University for the academic. Receiving a response from Berlin Technical University saying “they do not have such a student,” İTÜ applied to an Istanbul civil court of first instance to sue Sinan Ö.
According to the petition submitted to the court by the school, Sinan Ö. began working at İTÜ’s Architecture Faculty’s Department of Architecture in 2001 as a research assistant. After obtaining his master’s degree, the academic was known to be pursuing his PhD studies until last year.
İTÜ academics realized that Sinan Ö. held a fake PhD when the department’s head, Prof. Dr. Alaattin Kanoğlu, sent an email to an academic at Berlin Technical University thanking them for the documents, which were submitted by Sinan Ö. upon İTÜ’s request. Receiving an email from the academic in Berlin saying he had not been in contact with the student since 2007and that the documents presented to İTÜ were not from his office or signed by his secretary, the architecture department board ruled out Sinan Ö.’s extension of duty.
The İTÜ administration claimed Sinan Ö. forged the documents and confirmed that the academic had been paid gross 355,000 liras between 2003 and 2016. Filing a criminal complaint against the academic, the school administration demanded the amount paid to him added with its interest rate.
While the dean’s office of the architecture faculty said an administrative investigation has been launched by the İTÜ presidency regarding the issue, it did not make any further statements.