Education minister to seek legal redress against former YÖK head

Education Minister Çelik has already asked his lawyer to seek legal redress against Teziç over these unfounded allegations.

Education minister to seek legal redress against former YÖK head

Education Minister Hüseyin Çelik will file a criminal complaint against former Higher Education Board (YÖK) chairman Erdoğan Teziç over his remarks posted earlier this month on the popular video-sharing Web site YouTube, according to a statement released by the Education Ministry.

Thursday's statement noted that Çelik did not speak with Teziç about the number of students to be accepted to universities following the next university entry exam, as alleged in a voice recording posted on YouTube and reportedly belonging to Teziç. "Our minister [Çelik] did not have such a phone conversation with Teziç. Çelik has already asked his lawyer to seek legal redress against Teziç over these unfounded allegations," read the statement.

The voice recording allegedly belonging to Teziç was posted earlier this month on YouTube in which he directed strong remarks at several prominent politicians, including Çelik, and military figures.

"The other day, we were chatting with a group of friends when my secretary said the minister [Çelik] was on the phone. I answered the phone, and he asked me if we could talk about the number of students to be admitted to universities. I told him that he is aware of the government's stance toward YÖK. 'Did you ever warn the prime minister [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] about his stance toward YÖK? Did you confer with him about our problems? You told him that YÖK was persuaded to increase the number of students to be admitted to universities prior to the elections. You did this for your own interests. Increasing the number of students to be accepted to universities is a mere dream. The student quota at universities will not be increased,' I yelled. He was shocked and couldn't utter even a single word. I kept shouting at him. He said an assistant secretary would be sent to confer on the issue with me. I told him there was no need for further discussion on the issue," says the voice recording.

On the recording there are also implications that there could have been an attempt on President Abdullah Gül's life, allegations that some university rectors back the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and insults directed at Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Büyükanıt.

"The e-memorandum still remains there [on the General Staff's Web site]. It is not always necessary to use armed combat cars and weapons to stage a coup d'état. Let him [Erdoğan] have someone be elected to the Çankaya presidential palace if it's that easy. Who knows, that person may have an accident on the road to Çankaya. Anything may happen....You can't know what Fatih Hilmioğlu [the İnönü University rector] will do. He may fill his university's teaching staff with PKK supporters," continues the recording.

The Education Ministry's statement, on the other hand, noted that Teziç's allegations are unfounded.

"Çelik had talks with Teziç on various occasions, but the alleged conversation mentioned in the YouTube video has nothing to do with reality. Çelik has never demanded anything from Teziç, as alleged in the voice recording. The Turkish Republic is a state governed by the rule of law. The authority and responsibilities of institutions are determined by laws. Keeping all this in mind, no one has the right to slander our minister with such accusations. Çelik will take the appropriate legal measures for redress," read the statement.

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Last Mod: 01 Mart 2008, 17:15
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