The names of 71 university rectors in Turkey are not included in the citations of international scholarly publications, according to Professor Engin Karadağ, who heads the University Assessments and Research Laboratory (ÜNİAR) in the country.
Speaking on Habertürk TV, Karadağ, who also teaches at Akdeniz University, referred to the databases of Scopus and Web of Science, abstract and citation databases of scholarly work.
He said the more a university or an academic publishes academic papers, the more their names appear on these databases.
“Of the current university rectors in Turkey, 68 of them have zero international publications. They published only in Turkey. And the names of 71 university rectors are not included in the citations of any international academic work. Nobody knows them across the Turkish border,” Karadağ said.
In October 2016 the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government issued two decrees which among other things canceled the intra-university elections that used to be held to elect university rectors. University rectors are now appointed directly by the president.
Under the precious system in Turkey, universities held elections within their institutions, but the ultimate decision lay with the president. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan insisted that the abolition of the election system would be beneficial for the country.
The move attracted widespread criticism that it would eliminate the autonomy of universities.