GAU Says “WE ARE ONE” And Comes Together For Justice

Tarih: 04/03/2016

By emphasizing that the so-called university pays no attention to the law and this is not only a reputation issue, Serhat Akpınar stated that “I would like to send a message firstly to our President and Prime Minister; the decision of Supreme Administrative Court is obvious. They need to take the necessary steps and own the higher education of our island without any hesitation.”

Since the authorities of the related university continue to use the name which was banned by the Supreme Administrative Court, Girne American University (GAU) Global Science Family came together in GAU Spectrum International Congress Center with the slogan of “Day for Justice”.


Chair of Board of Trustees Memduh Erdal, Founding Rector and Chancellor of Board of Administrators Serhat Akpınar, Vice Chancellors of Board of Administrators, Rector Prof. Dr. Kutsal Ozturk, Board Members, Academic and Administrative Staff and students attended to the contact meeting which attracted an intensive attention and broadcasted live on the national channels.


Ozturk: “Our aim is to ensure the rights and law"


GAU Rector Prof. Dr. Kutsal Ozturk who performed the opening speech of the meeting thanked everyone who supported them during the course of the trial and stated that GAU is a world university which has 6 campuses in 3 continents and has been demonstrating itself in higher education for over 30 years. It was specified that GAU ran into many difficulties and gained great accomplishments by overcoming them.


Ozturk underlined that as GAU, they have great respect for the Supreme Administrative Court, their only aim and wish is the implementation of the rights and law. It was expressed that the purpose of the meeting is to inform the public opinion and they wish the rights and law to be practiced as it should be.


Asena: “The problem is not the judgment, but the management…”


In his statement, Mustafa Asena who worked as the lawyer of the GAU during trial stated that they brought the participants and the public opinion together for giving exact information and the law is a broad concept; it includes judgment, law and management. Asena referred that nowadays, when considering the justice, the only thing perceived is the judgment, however, the court always gave fair and right rulings during the process of the lawsuit of GAU.


Asena stated that the problem is not the judgment; it is the management part which pays no attention to the order of the Supreme Administrative Court. It was addressed that the conclusion of the case took a long time because the management do not perform its job and decision of the Supreme Administrative Court is not implemented and it is not legal for the so-called university to make statements in defiance of the government authorities, therefore, this led the process to progress in a wrong way.


 “The task of the government is not giving an opportunity for this kind of mistakes”


In the statement of Former Chief of the Supreme Court Taner Erginel, it was specified that people who live in TRNC can separate one university from another however it is hard for the people from other parts of the world to separate them. Erginel continued his speech by stating that “Should we allow for this confusion or should we prevent it? In my opinion, the job of the government is not giving an opportunity for this kind of mistakes, even if this opportunity is given, it should be prevented in the soonest time. As far as I am concerned, there is a case opened by GAU and the court has decided in favor of GAU. The government followed the order; however, by benefiting from some procedural mistakes or deficiencies, the other university does not want to follow the order. At this point, we need to continue fighting and the government needs to support the ones who are in this fight as we should protect our universities. It is not right for universities to use the same names or create problems by giving chance for this kind of injustices. This damages everyone."


Akpınar “TRNC has experienced such a case for the first time…”


Founding Rector and Chancellor of Board of Administrators Serhat Akpınar, who emphasized that GAU is a big family and such a case has been seen for the first time in TRNC, thanked the lawyers Mustafa Asena, Serhan Çınar and Okray Çınar who successfully represented GAU and carried out the juridical process.


Akpınar, who referred that the lawyers gained great success, stated the followings: “I said for the first time because TRNC has experienced such a case for the first time and we gained a great success during this process which created confusion. After the final form of the legal process which ended in August 2015, our government showed great insistence for not implementing the decision, after the cancellation of the so-called university’s name; they even added the image of Cyprus in front of the name with the Council of Ministers decision and started a new process. However, of course, our university and lawyers did their jobs.”


“We are not face with an innocence stance”


Akpınar underlined that this process is not just the issue of a name and continued: “You, as the people who watch this process closely, can understand the reason of my reaction, because, we are not face with an innocence stance. This process includes people such as statesmen and ministers who are against us and another university which aims to make GAU unsuccessful or take our place and disgrace us during this process.”


“Some ministers are making a mistake”


“I believe that we need to maintain our silence for now as the legal procedure is still continuing. However, the mistakes of our Minister of Education and Minister of Tourism who visited the university, which is ignored by the government, and try to ensure the presence of it, are increasing day by day.”


“So-called university, which name was not legalized by the court, has signboards”


“To set an example, the university has signboards. This should not have been allowed. This is a decision which is under the initiative of the related minister and we can see these signboards hanged out. Our meetings with the Kyrenia Municipality Manor are continuing. They support the idea that the decision of the court was not taken against the municipality, therefore, they do not take a side. In a sense, they hang out the signboards of a university which name is not legalized. We try to explain the necessary actions in a best way by informing them.”


“The aim is not the name similarity…”


Akpınar stated that the aim is not only making a similarity with the name of the Girne American University but also taking the place of GAU and they are in a struggle for admitting students by closing some departments of an another university and establishing the so-called university.


“They use our visuals”


Akpınar recorded that they use the visuals and introduction films of GAU in their social medias and act like GAU and stated that “Even though they act like GAU, we cannot do something or impose a broadcast ban on them as unfortunately there is no IT Law in our island.”


 “There is an unfair stance against us”


Our Ministry of Education, which made difficulties for us while opening some of our departments, gave the permission of a medical faculty to the so-called university even though it does not have any building or a presence, while, when we wanted to establish a medical faculty and collaborated with respectful names such as Florence Nightingale Hospital and Science University, they gave us conditional permissions such as 2+4 and 3+3.


“President of YODAK ignores the decision of the court”


This is beyond an unfair stance, although this so-called university is not legalized, President of YODAK who should follow the decision of the court ignores it instead. However, Board Members respects the decision of the court and do not accept the applications of the university. Moreover, the university filed a lawsuit against the YODAK and tries to have interlocutory order as the relevant departments were not approved.


“This is a fight of all of us”


Akpınar stated that they have decided to hold a press conference as many friends and students ask questions about the process and referred the followings:

“We have decided to hold a conference for the questions regarding the implementation of the court’s decision and come together to inform you. This process is developing just as I have explained, if we go into details, it is not possible to end it because people, who worked in many levels of the government, do not want to allow this process to end within the frame of the decision of the court. This is the fight of Girne American University, not mine. This needs to be understood perfectly because we face with an institution which tries to have all kind of past and future presence of GAU, this is not just a simple situation. I wish that we protect and embrace each other. I would like to send a message to our President and Prime Minister, the decision of the court is obvious, they need to take the necessary steps without any hesitation and own the higher education process of our island.”

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