President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has appointed rectors to 12 universities after university elections were cancelled in October by a government decree.
The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government issued two decrees late in October, which among other things canceled the intra-university elections that used to be held to elect university rectors. That position is now directly appointed by the president.
According to the previous system in Turkey, universities held their own elections, but the ultimate decision lay with the president. Erdoğan insisted that the abolition of the election system would be beneficial for the country.
The move attracted widespread criticism in that it will eliminate the autonomy of universities.
According to a statement from the press office of the presidency on Saturday, Erdoğan appointed rectors to Ağrı İbrahim Çeçen University, Ardahan University, Artvin Çoruh University, Batman University, Bitlis Eren University, Gümüşhane University, Hakkari University, İzmir Demokrasi University, Karamanoğlu Mehmetbey University, Kilis 7 Aralık University, Kırklareli University and Osmaniye Korkut Ata University.