Closing a university – destroying a future…

Recently, Hungarian government commenced the attack against the CEU with the authoritarian decision. Prime Minister Viktor Orban proposed a new reform for the university which led thousands of people to the streets. With the hashtags, #IstandwithCEU and in the Hungarian language #aCEUvalvagyok is the main area of sharing the opinions. On 4 April people protested this good-for-nothing legislation and demanded the suspension of the attack.

Founded by George Soros the university gave an education to thousands of young people from different regions that faces public problems, challenges in their country. The alumnus of this university is well-known democrats, politicians and scholars. These people contributed their knowledge for the confrontation of the problems at their home country. Now, there is a confrontation between Hungarian Government and CEU. The government denounces the university because of some violations of the education law. Prime Minister Orban stated that being accredited by two country – The USA and Hungary are unfair. Now, they want to close the university because they believe it is against the law of the government.

In this article, I want to state how hard it is to open a university in a country and how difficult it is to enlighten a nation. Let’s exemplify Turkey. When Ataturk founded government he realised that there is a sheer need to open university in order to give an oxygen to the brain of a nation. Because at that time Turks did not have an ability to read or learn science. Likewise, they just did not engage with the tendency of the world. That is why they lost all lands, all wars and etc. In my recent article about Ataturk, I wrote how he invited scientists from Nazi Germany and opened arms for them. He even wrote a complaint letter to Hitler and demanded the scientist that was detained b him. This shows how leaders and patriots fought for the science and for the scholars in order to help their nation and country.

Another example can be immigration of scientist that fled from Europe to America and how the USA helped them to live peacefully in order to contribute their knowledge for the country. Obtaining and giving education was/is not an easy process and will not be. Historically, it is obvious that how scholars lived in harsh life standards. Powerful authorities killed and tortured them in order to carry their corrupt deeds in a country. In the Ottoman Empire, Piri Reis was a notable and eminent person and the first cartographer not only in empire but in the whole Muslim world. He drew the lines and map of Latin America. But this great man was described by imams as a “satan” and enemy of Islam in front of Sultan Suleyman Magnificent (1520-1566). Therefore Sultan ordered to kill him, but in the essence of this aim lied rivalry and greed. Because at that time science showed its power against charlatan priests which they could not able to deal with it. [1] It was written in the book of Celal Shengor broadly.

Moreover, I want to give an example from the education policy in the USSR. When the USSR was inaugurated they felt that in order to raise nations and countries they must create universities and help scientists to thrive. The government demanded all children from rural areas in order to give them an education. Years of struggle gave its fruits for all nations.

Lastly, I want to tell the situation in Azerbaijan. Recently, Qafqaz University – which was one of the best universities of Azerbaijan – closed because of the Nurcu ideology. However, I personally know the persons who graduated from that university with high results and with incredible knowledge. Afterwards, these alumni studied in the top high ranked universities of the world with winning scholarships. Now, the university was closed and I do not believe that other ones will continue to produce the students like them in Azerbaijan. Therefore losing good university means cutting the one arm of future successes.

In conclusion, closing a university was the barbaric act and vandalism against science. If authority believes that there is an ideology against a government then closing it will not help. You can close the university, banish scholars or coerce them to obey the rules but you will never be able to destroy the ideology. Just cannot. Therefore if authority believes in it, then they should find testimonials and then chose civil ways to counter it. However, myself do not believe in it. Because so many political leaders graduated this university and fought for their nation. Ilgar Mammadov is one of these leaders who studied at the CEU and REAL Movement in Azerbaijan. Even my friends and tutors studied there and contributed their knowledge in our country. I believe CEU will stand against all attacks and will continue its work in the future.

Not love or other acts will save the world but the science and education will…. Protect universities!


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