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1 November 2013

Turkish Prime Minister Plans to Takeover Universities


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Turkish Prime Minister’s Vicious Plan to Take Control over the Universities

The Prime Minister is continuing to reshape almost every aspect of society in Turkey. The academia and universities are not exception to this phenomenon. On the contrary they are critical parts of this new restructuring. In this context, Prime Minister watches very closely almost every step, ranging from new appointments of deans and rectors for the universities to new positions for academicians at the newly established universities. In that respect, he is, particularly, interested in theology departments. Furthermore, he pays special attention to appoint his close friends to the critical positions at the universities.

The malleable hiring system at the universities paves the way to the Prime Minister for nepotism. In fact the flexibility of hiring exams for academicians and the autonomous structure of the universities made very easy for the Prime Minister to hire his close friends.

Denying the fundamental impartiality principle, first and foremost the Prime Minister has chosen to take control over the Higher Education Board (YOK).

To realize his aim, he accomplished to appoint Yekta Sarac, close family friend and Osman Ozturk, Prime Minister’s mentor to claim positions at the YOK. After all Yekta Sarac has been working as the Acting Presidents of YOK. With the blessings and backings of the Prime Minister, these two individuals became very powerful figures in YOK. By doing so, Prime Minister has managed to create a system that is above the laws. Taken together, the Prime Minister could by-pass YOK Administration, which is not a legitimate way of running things around the YOK.

The Prime Minister struggled for a long time to appoint his close family friend, Yekta Sarac, as the President of YOK. Due to their recent differing widely in their positions, President Abdullah Gul did not endorse Prime Minister’s close family friend’s appointment. On the contrary, President Gul went even further and against Prime Minister’s will, he swiftly appointed Gokhan Cetinsaya as the President of YOK.

As a move against Cetinsaya’s appointment as the President of YOK, by using his authority by law, the Prime Minister appointed Yekta Sarac as the Acting President of YOK. By appointing Yekta Sarac, the Prime Minister positioned Sarac as his President of YOK. The Prime Minister predominantly consults with Yekta Sarac about almost anything related to YOK matters. In this process, Prime Minister proceeds the official matters through his Undersecretary, Efkan Ala.

When a decision is needed to be made at the Board level of YOK, Sarac powerfully implies that such a decision is demanded by the Prime Minister. In that way, Sarac manages to dictate the Board to take an action in line with his proposal.

On the other hand Gokhan Cetinsaya, hopelessly, is in no position to fight back against such awkward and rather unlawful actions. Making things worse, at behest of Prime Minister, Yekta Sarac mandates Gokhan Cetinsaya to make certain decisions.

Yekta Sarac’s close relationship with the Prime Minister is because of his father, Emin Sarac. Emin Sarac is one of the prominent individuals within the religious group, known as Erenkoy Community. The Prime Minister considers Sarac as a very special person, and he frequently pays visit to him during the religious festivals and receives his blessings.

Effectively taking advantage of this close relationship, Yekta Sarac can have regular meetings with the Prime Minister at his official residents in both Ankara and Istanbul. In those meetings, while Yekta Sarac convey his demands about the YOK, the Prime Minister brings about the decision to be made at the YOK. To assist Yekta Sarac in the YOK matters, recently the Prime Minister has appointed his own mentor, Osman Ozturk at the YOK.

First of all, the Prime Minister speared an office for Osman Ozturk at the Prime Ministry Office in Dolmabahce Palace. In this office Osman Ozturk generally has been dealing with educational institutions in both Istanbul surroundings and abroad. Later on, in order to expand his operational capability country wise, the Prime Minister appointed Osman Ozturk as the member of the Board of YOK.

Just like Saracs, Osman Ozturk frequently meets with the Prime Minister. He even can visit the Prime Minister at the residents and resolves the matters by securing the Prime Minister’s instructions. Ozturk effectively uses his connection with the Prime Minister via Yekta Sarac and Prime Minister’s Undersecretary, Efkan Ala. In this way Osman Ozturk plays an important role in restructuring the academia, universities, and the YOK community.