April 21, 2011

Turkish testing official embroiled in new academic scandal

A top educational official already embroiled in a controversy over an alleged cheating scandal on a national exam has been accused of academic plagiarism.
According to the new claims, Professor Ali Demir, the chairman of Turkey’s Student Selection and Placement Center, or ÖSYM, plagiarized in an article he wrote while working as a lecturer at Loughborough University in 1990. He was reportedly saved from being fired through the intervention of influential scholars at the university.
Demir worked at Loughborough University as a lecturer after completing his doctoral degree at the school. During this period, he penned a nine-part series of articles for a Turkish magazine called “Teknik ve Tekstil” (Technology and Textile). The series appeared to be entirely the work of Demir, but the new allegations say it was instead nearly a word-for-word translation of work by a German writer named Peter Latzke.
Latzke was only mentioned by Demir in a brief acknowledgement in the first part of the series.
The claim of plagiarism was first made by Professor Mike Denton of Leeds University, who brought his allegations to the attention of the Loughborough University administration. They were communicated to Professor Gordon Wray, the head of the school’s textile department, who immediately proceeded to launch an investigation into the matter.
Following a long series of discussions and meetings, Wray accepted as a compromise a written apology from Demir, to be published in the magazine.
“Associate Professor Demir has just obtained written permission for this work from [European textile journal] Melliand Textilberichte. Associate Professor Demir apologizes to both Mr. P.M. Latzke as well as to Melliand Textilberichte for not having obtained written permission prior to the publishing of the series,” said the explanation at the beginning of the ninth and last part in the series.
Demir has recently come into the spotlight in Turkey for his alleged role in a cheating scandal that has erupted around the university entrance exam that took place March 27. ISTANBUL - Radikal


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