An academic article of a medical doctor from Turkey’s Marmara University Medical School has been denied by the faculty management who said it would cause problems since the article has ‘too much of a reference to the theory of evolution.’
According to a report by Evrim Gökçe from Turkey’s soL news portal, the cardiothoracic specialist Dr. Mert Mercan has conducted a research on more effective medical treatments for patients with heart problems. When explaining the scientific findings with regards to use of artery from arm vs. from legs for bypass surgery, Dr. Mercan also exemplified his arguments with references to evolutionary development of the circulatory system.
After finding out that his article was not published in a university’s academic publication, Dr. Mercan has asked the reason to the facult administration. The administration has said that “The board has decided for your article not to be published due to inconvenient content.” As Mercan asked whether there was any ‘unscientific’ reference, he was replied such as “It is because your article is written in a way that would put the faculty administration in a difficult position.”
Reminding that the administrative board members of the faculty that their duty is to conduct scientific studies not to do politics, Dr. Mercan has reportedly applied to Professor Ömer Günal, the dean of the Medical Faculty. However, Günal was reportedly replied Dr Mercan as follow: “Let’s publish your article in a private journal. We cannot publish it in our university publications. There is too much reference to theory of evolution and evolutionary arguments. If we publish this we will have serious trouble.”
As Mercan has reportedly attempted to argue that censoring a scientific work does not accepteple under the scientific principles of academia and scholarly conduct, Prof. Günal has reportedly warned him ‘to stop insulting’ and threatened Dr. Mercan to file a lawsuit against him. Günal has stated that they are, too, trying to conduct scientific studies under the same conditions in the country.
Dr. Mercan has announced in his twitter account that he has resigned from his position at the Marmara University after the censorship. He has also written that “This experience has showed us that there is no longer any space left in this country to have scientific studies.”
Turkish Education Minister İsmet Yılmaz said a new national school curriculum will exclude evolution theory but will include the concept of jihad, or holy war, as part of Islamic law in textbooks.
Speaking during a press conference to introduce the new school curriculum in Ankara on July 18, 2017, Yılmaz said that “Jihad is an element in our religion; it is in our religion… The duty of the Education Ministry is to teach every deserving concept correctly. It is also our job to correct things that are wrongly perceived, seen or taught.”
In reference to the removal of evolution theory from the new curriculum, Yılmaz said it was not included “because it is above the students’ level and not directly relevant.”
As part of the debate following the introduction of the concept of jihad, or holy war, in the new national school curriculum, a deputy of the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) and a member of the Parliament’s National Education Commission has said that it is useless to teach math to a kid who does not know the concept of jihad.
AKP deputy Ahmet Hamdi Çamlı, who used to be the driver of Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, claimed that the concept of “jihad is one of the main pillars of Islam.” ¨Our ministry of national education made a very accurate decision¨ said Çamlı. However, the dean of the Islamic seminary at Ankara University, Professor İsmail Hakkı Ünal objected the idea of including the concept of jihad among five pillars of Islam.
July 24, 2017