University rectorate in Turkey bans banner on Evolution Symposium

Istanbul Technical University did not allow banners of a symposium on Evolution, Science and Education on the pretext of 'being not appropriate'
Monday, 11 December 2017 22:39

The Rectorate of Istanbul Technical University did not allow the banners on Evolution, Science and Education Symposium, which will be held by the initiative of many academicians on December 23-24, on the grounds that "they were not appropriate".

The banners on Evolution, Science and Education Symposium to be held by many significant scholars have been banned by the Rectorate of Istanbul Technical University (İTÜ) on the ground of "being inappropriate". In November, the same rectorate had hosted Ahmet Akgündüz, the President of the Islamic University of Rotterdam, who is known for his reactionary statements.

Students said that the suspension of the banners on Evolution, Science and Education Symposium is not related to the general stance of the university’s president Mehmet Karaca against banners of the events in the university, stating that it is a direct attempt to obstruct the symposium on evolution.

The University's President Karaca had recently hosted the President of the Islamic University of Rotterdam Ahmet Akgündüz, known for his Islamic reactionary statements, at Istanbul Technical University. Karaca had assigned a meeting hall at the university to Akgündüz for a reactionary event.

Stating that mixed-sex student houses are 'a communism project', Akgündüz had previously said, "Those who advocate mixed-sex student houses are the ones who want the emergence of a society full of illegitimate children."

The university administration's attempts to close the students’ clubs during this academic year show that the authorities try to transform İTÜ into a centre of obscurantism instead of a centre for science and culture under the Justice and Development government, when it is considered with the recent bans on scientific symposiums and workshops.

The İTÜ students, who are aware of all these attacks to their university, say that science cannot be forbidden in the university and that they will struggle against every step towards obscurantism in education in Turkey.

The Turkish government had stopped teaching evolution in primary and secondary schools as part of new national curricula in 2017 while promoting Sunni Islamic courses in the educational system.