A former Turkish diplomat has been appointed rector of the Turkish-German University (German: Türkisch-Deutsche Universität) in Istanbul. According to the university’s website:
By Decision 2022/230 published in the Official Gazette on June 3, 2022 under number 31855, Prof. Dr. Cemal Yıldız, Director General of Higher Education and Education Abroad of the Ministry of National Education, was appointed Rector of the Turkish-German University in accordance with Article 13 of Higher Education Law No. 2547 and Articles 2, 3 and 7 of Presidential Decree No. 3. Prof. Dr. Halil Akkanat, who served as Acting Rector from 2012 to 2014 and Rector of TAU from 2014 to 2022, handed over the office to Prof. Dr. Cemal Yıldız on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, at the Rectorate Building. (Translated from German.)
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The website says Cemal Yildiz served as Director General for Higher Education and Education Abroad at the Turkish Embassy in Berlin since August 2021 before working as an Education Advisor at the Embassy.
The Turkish-German University was founded in 2010 as a joint venture of the German and Turkish governments. It is financed by both states, with Germany investing 28 million euros between 2009 and 2020. A German political scientist the university as a “politicized lobbying institution of the Erdogan regime,” and the university has recently been scrutinized in German media. In February 2021, a lecturer at the Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences was reported to have made homophobic and racist tweets, and In May 2021, the university announced an investigation against another employee after he criticized Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
German media is also reporting on potential plans to establish an imam training faculty at the Turkish-German University in cooperation with the Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet). However, Germany is seeking to have imams educated in Germany to reduce the number of foreign imams and curb the influence of the Diyanet. Through organizations such as the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB), the Diyanet provides and pays imams for Turkish mosques abroad. DITIB rejects support for German efforts to train imams at German universities, according to a recent German domestic intelligence report.