Kayyum Rektör İstemiyoruz
Protests in Boğaziçi University: What is Really Happening?
1 January 2021, midnight. Turkish President appointed Melih Bulu as the rector (who is generally referred to as the “kayyum”) of Boğaziçi University. A “professor” (frankly, naming a person a “professor” who owes his rise in academia to plagiarism does not sound appropriate) becoming the head of the university was witnessed for the first time since the 1980's military coup. Boğaziçi University, a 157-year-old institution that has a colorful culture based on democratic values, has its own tradition to choose its own rector since 1992. This tradition, which is also a democratic right, has been ignored since 2016, when the President first appointed another academician instead of the elected professor, as the rector.
Since day one of Bulu’s arrival, students as well as the academic staff and the alumni, keep protesting the appointment via social media, in the campus, all around Istanbul and Turkey, and also abroad. Gatherings started on 4th January Monday, in front of South Campus, and continued throughout the week and are likely to continue.
Greetings, Dear Readers!
As we welcome a fresh start to the new year, our expectations and hopes for the new year start to settle. We should sustain our excitement and the motivation that the new year brought through our finals period which is the most stressful time of the term. We are well aware that preparing for the exams can be exhausting, as students ourselves, we should continue to try our best and keep trying. Despite our wishes, Melih Bulu has been appointed as our university’s new rector by President Erdoğan. We strongly condemn this appointment as it is against our democratic values of Boğaziçi University and do not recognize him as our legitimate rector. We demand elections to choose a new rector and investigations into his serious plagiarism and sexism allegations.
New year comes with new beginnings, we did not break the tradition and add a brand new section ‘Distressed’ where we will discuss the distressing issues of the world. We also expanded our writer team with three new writers whom you will read the works of in ‘Trivial’ and ‘Present and Chill’ sections. We also started the ‘Inequality Series’ in the ‘Universal’ section and you can find the first part where we analyzed gender inequality on a global scale. We could not ignore the 2020 and had to review it in ‘Agenda of the Month’. Another series we continued from 2020 is ‘Humanity vs Capitalism’, you can find part 2 in ‘Spotlight’. In ‘Present and Voting’ we discussed the myth of overpopulation and the Malthusian Theory. We looked throughout the history of psychology in ‘Historical’ and the history of pop music in ‘Trivial’. ‘Trivial’ also includes ‘Bir Başkadır’ review and the ‘MBTI and Personality Classification’. In ‘Intersection’ we have combined religion and celebration in one article since we just passed a very celebratory period of the year. As our screen times increase, we felt the urge to look deeper into the time we spend online and wrote ‘Memes and Comment Sections: Mechanisms of Criticism or Harassment?’ in ‘Online’. Last but not least, we reflected our expectation from the new year in ‘Present and Chill’.
Before we conclude, we would like to thank both our writers who made their best effort to produce these articles and all of our readers, especially the ones who would leave kind messages to our reader feedback form. Those messages have the power to make us smile and get motivated even more. We have to admit, going through 2020 and now our finals period does not make it easy to maintain the publishing PRESENT, however, the support of our readers and the selfless efforts of our team makes everything worth it. If we got to our 10th edition, it is with the support of you!
Lastly, we send you our best wishes for the new year as the PRESENT Family. To ease these times, do not forget to wear your mask, keep the social distance, and stay in touch with us!
Hülya AFAT & Alp Ünal AYHAN
Editors of This Issue