A cardiothoracic specialist at Turkey’s Marmara University Medical School has resigned from his position at the institution after he was told that a study he wrote contained too many references to evolution and would cause ‘problems’ it it were to be published.
According to this report, the faculty management rejected Dr Mert Mercan’s paper which detailed his research on more effective medical treatments for patients with heart problems. In explaining his scientific findings regarding use of arteries from arms v from legs for bypass surgery, he referred to the evolutionary development of the circulatory system.
When the university failed to publish his study in its academic publication, Mercan asked for an explanation for its rejection. The administration said:
The board has decided for your article not to be published due to inconvenient content.
When Mercan asked whether its contained any “unscientific” references, he was told:
It is because your article is written in a way that would put the faculty administration in a difficult position.
He was then told by Professor Ömer Günal, the dean of the Medical Faculty:
Let’s publish your article in a private journal. We cannot publish it in our university publications. There is too much reference to theory of evolution and evolutionary arguments. If we publish this we will have serious trouble.
When Mercan reportedly attempted to argue that censoring a scientific work was not acceptable under scientific principles of academia and scholarly conduct, and that faculty members had a duty to conduct scientific studies and not to do politics, Günal warned him to stop being “insulting” – and threatened to file a lawsuit against him.
Mercan announced in his Twitter account that he has resigned from his position at the Marmara University after the censorship. He also wrote:
This experience has showed us that there is no longer any space left in this country to have scientific studies.
The incident comes after Turkey’s Education Minister recently announced that schools would no longer be teaching evolution, but that the principles of Jihad would be included in the curriculum.
Meanwhile, it’s reported from Bangladesh that a group of conservative Islamic religious scholars have forced the country’s Education Ministry to expunge 17 poems and stories from standard Bengali textbooks because they considered them to be “atheistic”. Having achieved this victory, the Islamists now have other changes in mind, including the elimination of physical education textbooks that depict exercise by girls or young women.
• Graphic at the top of this page is an introduction to a YouTube report about Islamisation in Turkey.