Top court rules Erdogan’s appointment of university rectors unconstitutional

News About Turkey - NAT
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On June 4, the Constitutional Court (AYM) annulled certain articles of a Presidential decree related to the appointment of university rectors by the President of Turkey.

The decision specifically targeted several articles of the Presidential Decree (KHK) No. 703 from 2018. These articles had amended the Law on Higher Education, giving the Turkish President the power to appoint rectors to public and foundation universities.

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) had applied to the court to review the decree, according to reporting by the daily BirGün.

The Constitutional Court ruled that the Council of Higher Education (YÖK) used to have the authority to nominate candidates for rector positions. The law required all candidates to have served as professors for at least three years.

However, with the presidential decree, YÖK was completely removed from the appointment process, and the three-year requirement was no longer necessary.

The court found that in this case, where the president had all the power to appoint a rector and no specific qualifications were sought for prospective rectors, “university autonomy” did not exist.

The court concluded that the Decree Law in question was unconstitutional because it amended a regulation beyond its scope.

Accordingly, the decision will take effect 12 months after it is published in the Official Gazette.

The academic community in Turkey has been protesting against the appointment of rectors by the president.

This issue gained public attention in January 2021 when protests erupted at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan appointed an outsider, pro-governmental Melih Bulu as the rector.

Many students were mistreated, arrested, and expelled from the university during the protests.

Additionally, members of the Boğaziçi faculty have been conducting daily protests against the appointed rector.

Source:Duvar English

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