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Academics should not resort to slogans, says YEuK president.

ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- Higher Education Board (YEuK) President GE[micro]khan Ecetinsaya said on Monday that some academics support their political views by means of one-line slogans instead of concepts and ideas.

Talking at the 215th Council among universities held in Yalova University, Ecetinsaya said that members of academia cannot consider themselves above society.

"There are responsibilities for all members of the universities to contribute to the culture of debate and negotiation in the country," said Professor Ecetinsaya in reference to the ongoing protests that were sparked by the Gezi Park incident in Turkey. According to Ecetinsaya, building a new Turkey is dependent on the constant interaction and negotiation of different cultures and understandings. However, he argued, some university members defend their political position by resorting to slogans, not ideas and concepts.

"We regretfully see that many debates are made based on inaccurate information that aims to manipulate [public opinion]," said Ecetinsaya, adding that conflicts in society cannot be approached with the mentality of a sports team fan.

Describing universities as places that generate research on political, societal and cultural problems and conflicts, Ecetinsaya said that academics are supposed to be interested in alternative solutions to the problems in society. "We cannot consider ourselves above the people in a judging position," he commented.

According to Ecetinsaya, academics should raise the level and quality of debates. "We consider it important for universities to consider their environment," said Ecetinsaya, adding that they are not in favor of silencing universities. He urged universities to be involved in long-term research rather than daily comments in a confrontational language.

Ecetinsaya also said that he does not understand when some academics use the rhetoric of the 1960s.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman) CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:Jun 17, 2013
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