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ODTÜ stipulates academic must visit Erdoğan if wins TÜBİTAK award

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The rector’s office of Turkey’s Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) has stipulated that an academic who has been nominated for an award given by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) must visit President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at his presidential palace in Ankara if they win the award, the Evrensel news website reported on Friday.

The academic, whose name was not disclosed, did not agree to the proposal, saying that they find such bargaining wrong.

Following the academic’s rejection of the agreement, their dossier was not signed by Rector Verşan Kök, although the university’s senate had approved the academic’s candidacy for the TÜBİTAK Incentive Award.

The incident became public thanks to a statement from the Education and Science Workers Union (Eğitim-Sen), which accused the university of imposing pressure on academics instead of prioritizing science and independence.

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