Over 270 departments in Turkish universities missing academic staff

Turkey’s ever-growing public and private universities are having a hard time finding academic staff.

A total of 273 departments for 78 public universities, in which 14,421 students are enrolled, do not have any academic staff, left-leaning daily Birgün said on Saturday.

There is no single professor in 1434 departments while there are less than 5 academics in 1694 departments, according to Birgün.

"Although we do not have enough academic staff,  for populist reasons, too many universities were opened with the logic of 'students should see and study at the university'," Birgün quoted professor Erhan Erkut as saying.

The report arrives amid an ongoing crackdown by Turkey on academics following the failed coup attempt of July 2016, including the thousands of signatories of a 2016 peace petition, which criticised the army operations against Kurdish militants in the southeast. The crackdown hit faculties from physics and biology to drama and politics at some of Turkey’s best universities.

For example, in 2017, Ankara University’s political science and law faculties were stripped of more than 70 of their academics in a February decree, while thousands of academics were dismissed following the failed putsch.