December 7, 2013

Plagiarism has been legalized !

Translated from Gazete soL 
State Council Committee for Administrative Cases in Turkey has ruled that banishment of faculty members who has been involved in plagiarism cases is not based on legislation, in other words, they have legalized plagiarism. 
Especially in the last few years, there has been a rise in plagiarism cases in Turkish Universities. State Council’s verdict, on the other hand, will encourage those who are involved in plagiarism. State Council Committee for Administrative Cases has decided that banishment of faculty members from their universities is unjust. 
Higher Educational Council (YÖK) of Turkey did not waste any time to put the decree in action by issuing a directive to obey the State Council’s decision.
According to the 3rd  paragraph of 11th article in Faculty Members Discipline Bylaw of YÖK’s Legislature, “using other’s work or study as one’s own without any reference” is a basis for banishment of the faculty member from the university or civil service, however, according to a State Council Decision issued in 2012, this deed has been dropped from being a crime.
There is no Legal basis
The 15 month old decision of State Council Committee for Administrative Cases has rendered the crime of plagiarism sanctionless. Council’s Decision, dating September 2012, states that “there are no regulations for punishment of faculty member, which is established by Faculty Member Discipline Bylaw as banishment, in the YÖK Legislature no. 2547 and State Officer Legislature no. 657” the penalty has no legal basis. As a result, Council has ruled that the disgraceful act of plagiarism /scientific rip off is not a crime.
YÖK: Do not punish
Faculty Members Discipline Bylaw was issued according to the YÖK Legislature no. 547, thus, after the decision of State Council Committee for Administrative Cases regarding the legality of the punishment, YÖK did not attempt to remove the legal void by National Education Ministry and Grand Turkish Assembly; furthermore, it has issued an invoice to rectorates. YÖK’s notice petitioned “to act according to the civil jurisdiction in cases initiated for plagiarism charges”. This official notice directly means to do nothing against faculty members that commit plagiarism.
YÖK’s notice has been imparted to corresponding units in 19 November 2013 by Yunus Söylet, Rector of İstanbul University.
Old penalties rendered void 
On the other hand, according to the Council’s rule, bygone penalties given to the faculty members regarding the plagiarism has “rendered void due to legality”. This opened up the channel for all faculty members who have been banished for committing plagiarism to return to their old posts and demand all of the salaries and monetary entitlements.
‘This will encourage plagiarism’
Prof. Dr. Kayhan Kantarlı, a retired faculty member of Ege University of İzmir, Turkey, stated that Council’s rule will encourage those who intend to do plagiarism. Kantarlı invited all authorities to act against the President of Higher Education Council who breached his duty by letting this scandalous thing to happen which will pave the way for collapse of ethical perception. Kantarlı also called attention of legislative bodies to close this legal void immediately.
‘There is no corresponding crime or act’
Lawsuit was filed by Kamil Can Bulut who was a faculty member at Department of Literature in Ege University, was found to plagiarize in one of his books. In the decree of State Council Committee for Administrative Cases it has been stated that “there is also no corresponding penalty that requires banishment of the faculty member of the university in Legislature no. 2547. In this case, since there are no legal decrees that require the penalty of banishment and there is no legal basis for the act that require this penalty, there is no illegality according to the regulations that is the case before the court and the act that is based on this regulation.” Decision has passed with unanimity of 15 members of the Council except Halide Ayfer Özdemir, including the vice chairman.


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