Imagine this scenario: Emory University President Gregory L. Fenves resigns, and instead of the Presidential Selection Committee appointing a new president, US President Joe Biden does so without consulting anyone. Not democratic, right? However, that is exactly what happened at Boğaziçi University, one of Istanbul’s most prestigious universities, last January. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has appointed Melih Bulu as head of Boğaziçi University, which has since sparked weeks of student-led protests.
Bulu, the newly appointed rector, has ties to Erdoğan’s ruling Conservative Justice and Development Party, known as the AK Party, and even ran unsuccessfully as the AK Party candidate for the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, the Turkish parliament, in 2015. Students and faculty at Boğaziçi University disapproved of the nomination, stating that Bulu’s…
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