Turkish university rector election results declared

Turkish university rector election results declared

Esra Ülkar / Gamze Kolcu – ANKARA
Turkish university rector election results declared

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The results of university rector elections were announced on July 12, with academics at 20 Turkish universities voting on which rector candidates to send to the next stage. 

The appointment process will be completed with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan assigning single names from the elected lists submitted for each institution, amid concerns that his final selection would not be in line with the democratic ballot results. 

The results of the voting were declared by the most prestigious universities in Turkey including Boğaziçi University, the Middle East Technical University (METU) and Istanbul Technical University (ITU). 

According to law, academics vote for six names out of all candidates running to be rectors of their university and these six names are sent to the Higher Education Board (YÖK) for further evaluation. The six names are then narrowed to three to be sent to the president, who gives the final decision on the appointment of each rector.

At Boğaziçi University, the current rector Professor Gülay Barbarosoğlu is the leading name with 348 votes, followed by Professor Vedat Akgiray, whose candidacy has been slammed by many students and academics, with 40 votes. Another candidate, Professor Taner Şengör, has reportedly pulled out of the race. 

Speaking after the announcement of the results, Barbarosoğlu noted that the election witnessed the highest number of overall voters ever, reflecting a preference for “stability, consensus and unity.” Out of 447 academics employed at the university, 403 participated in the vote.

The competition to be elected the Boğaziçi University rector has been particularly contentious. Six names initially put themselves forward for the post, including Barbarosoğlu, Business Administration Department member Akgiray, and Yıldız Technical University Electronics and Communications Engineering Department member Şengör.  

Meanwhile, at METU some 630 academics voted for six candidates running for the post, with Professor Nevzat Özgüven leading the race by receiving 270 votes. 

At ITU, eleven candidates ran for the rector’s position. Out of the votes used by 991 academics, Professor Mehmet Karaca topped the list with 379 votes.