Universities in Turkey: Changing Politics and Science
Throughout the history of modernization, universities have been one of the critical topics of debate of Turkish political life. Especially in the Republican period, universities continued to occupy the political and social agendas in line with their relations with politics in the context of both organization and caderization and the mentality they brought forward. In the process from the beginning of the Republican period to the present day, the reorganizations made again and again in universities under the name of reform in the direction of the prevailing understanding of power both brought about the liquidation of existing cadres and hindered the formation of a scientific tradition. In other words, the scientific understanding in Turkey has always remained young throughout the history of the republic. This, in turn, rendered universities and Turkish intellectual life more open to international influences. Such an understanding of university acted in line with the political institutions' preferences in the international arena rather than determining the internal and external agenda of the country; thus, university became an institution, which acted with the understanding of eclecticism rather than production. That the change in the understanding of science was parallel to the preferences of the institution of politics, also rendered science-politics relations and the qualifications that academicians should have debatable. The present article aims to address these discussions about the Turkish universities in the context of the changing political and scientific mindset in the Ottoman-Turkish modernization process, especially during the Republican period, and to analyze how the organizational structure and mentality of scientific institutions have been shaped.
SourceJOURNAL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
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