Take some time for a long read, there are many pictures documenting the plagiarism. There are ten dissertations, followed by a discussion of the problems involved with dissertations not being published in Turkey. We are really very lucky in Germany that all theses have to be published, as it makes research about them so much easier. There is a long list of excuses given by the libraries for not being able to obtain theses. Istanbul University is my favorite one - you can obtain them, if you fill out all these forms and send money and the moon phase is correct ... [strike that last item].
There is an overview of how many theses are not available at the different libraries -- 40 % of the theses not available at the best library, 66 % at the worst one!
And then there is the list of academics in Turkey with the most retractions to their name -- and their current occupation. Let me quote these here, because it is so shocking:
Only one of the authors with multiple retracted papers is not affiliated with academia. Anyone who knows how difficult it is to get a paper retracted will understand the depth of concern here. How can these people teach at university and mentor doctoral students when they themselves have multiple retractions to their names?
- Mustafa Saltı, whose 40 papers have been retracted, was a doctoral student then. Today he is a research assistant in Dicle University Physics Department.
- Dr. Oktay Aydoğdu, whose 29 papers have been retracted, was a doctoral student then. As of now, he is a reserch assistant in Mersin University Physics Department.
- Dr. Sezgin Aygün, whose 15 papers have been retracted, was another doctoral student at that time. Now he works as an assistant professor in Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Physics Department.
- Murat Korunur, another doctoral student whose 14 papers have been retracted, currently works as a research asistant in Dicle University Physics Department .
- Dr. Ali Havare was an assistant professor when his 13 papers have been retracted. He is currently an associate professor in Mersin University Physics Department (he also served as a thesis supervisor for Mustafa Saltı, Dr. Oktay Aydoğdu and Taylan Yetkin, all actors in this same plagiarism scandal.)
- Dr. İsmail Tarhan was an associate professor when his 13 papers were retracted. He is currently a full professor at Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Physics Department. In 2011 he was serving as director of Science & Engineering Graduate School at ÇOMU, and as rector’s consultant.
- Melis Aygün (now Melis Ulu) was a doctoral student when her 10 papers were retracted. She is now a research assistant at Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Physics Department.
- Dr. Hüsnü Baysal, whose 7 papers were retracted, was an associate professor then. He is currently a full professor at Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Department of Secondary-level Science and Mathematics Teaching.
- Dr. İrfan Açıkgöz, whose 5 papers have been retracted, is still a professor at Dicle University Physics Department (he also supervised the thesis of Murat Korunur, who is mentioned above).
- Dr. İhsan Yılmaz, whose 4 papers have been retracted, is still a professor at Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart Unversity, Department of Space Sciences and Techonologies. In 2011, he was also serving as director of Revenues Office and as Vice Rector at ÇOMU.
- Dr. Figen Banbay, whose 3 papers are retracted, is still an assistant professor at Dicle University Physics Department.
- Dr. Nurettin Pirinççioğlu was a doctoral student when his 3 papers were retracted. He is currently an assistant professor at Dicle University Physics Department.
- Can Aktaş, then a doctoral student, had 1 paper retracted. Today he is an assistant professor at Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Mathematics Department.
- Taylan Yetkin was a lecturer at Mersin University Physics Department when his 3 papers were retraced. Today – as far as I can see – he is not affiliated with academia. In this list, he is the only one who is not in academia any more.
The same chapter also reports on the Sezen case, one that I blogged about in June 2012.
Turkey’s bad academia is self-perpetuating.I am indebted to the Turkish scientists who have worked on this. I have corresponded with them and did some proofreading on the English version. I hope that this will shine a bright light down the dark alleys.
People who have committed ethical violations in their dissertations and publications are allowed to become thesis supervisors. Students who are misguided by these create dissertations that equally violate ethics, publish insignificant or duplicated papers, and some of them become the new academic generation, in turn completing the cycle.
One of the major problems that perpetuates this cycle is the difficulty of access to dissertations. University libraries limit access with arbitrary reasons, and improvements in YÖK Thesis Archive are far from solving the problem in practice.
Even when a dissertation is accessed and plagiarism is seen, penalties are far from being deterrent, due to legal and executive roadblocks.
While advanced societies take science theft very seriously, actors of science theft in Turkey silently go on with their duties, thus deleteriously undermining the credibility of the field.
Even though today’s scientists in Turkey are not proactive, and they are mostly mute unless they have to defend themselves, I believe that self-criticism will become a way to reveal and eventually eradicate academical problems in Turkey in the future.