About a heated debate on nepotism and corruption in Turkish (exiled) academic community

David Selim Sayers has recently penned a very long and detailed piece entitled as The Real Academy in Exile

He is one of the Peace Academics but he did not join the more organizational dimensions of the movement such as joining the core mailing lists etc. The whole issue started after his application for a Turkish Studies Institute post at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE)

He could not make it to the top three candidates among which one of them would be appointed. His inquiry into the nomination process seems to reveal a particular case of networking and nepotism. There are many who are very angry with Mr. Sayers. However, I did not see a detailed response to his points of criticism. Instead, two points are emphasized:

1- He is not chosen and thus he is frustrated and there comes this attack. – I do not see why he cannot do that as long as he provides reasonable arguments.

2- Peace academics suffered a lot, don’t you see this? – The point is not to help suffering academics but abusing the process.

I do not know Mr. Sayers in person. Among the named academics, I know some of them. I have no issues with them and I respect the scholarship of some of them. For others, unfortunately, the only reason they have the posts/scholarships/positions is that they have the proper political standing, their activism which mostly overshadows their academic work, and the cultural capital they have.

I agree with most of the points outlined in The Real Academy in Exile. I am aware of the relations he outlines.

I remember at least two cases where I was excluded from some academic collaborations by similar academic gangs whose members overlap with the one mentioned in the piece. I will not go into details here but thanks God, I do not need them to do my work. Otherwise, life could be quite hard…


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