Update: Turkish University Allegedly Censors Research Study

A cardiovascular surgeon’s research was rejected for publication because it referenced evolutionary theory, Turkish outlets report, while the university at the center of the tumult claims the story is false. 

By Aggie Mika | July 25, 2017


Update (July 31): In an email sent to The Scientist, Evrim Gökçe from soL International, says the outlet stands by its original report detailing cardiovascular surgeon Mert Mercan’s claims that Marmara University censored his research paper due to mentions of evolution. soL asserts that Mercan shared his article with reporters, and furthermore, that Mercan’s colleagues confirmed his story. 

Update (July 28): The Scientist received an emailed statement today from an entity purporting to be Marmara University claiming that this story is false. According the statement, which was also posted on the Facebook page of Marmara University, “[a]ll the charges and allegations made by a Dr. Mert Mercan, who claims to be a member of the academic staff of the School of Medicine of our University . . . are unreal and have been made up by the person concerned. Likewise, his allegations concerning the discussions he claims to have held with the Dean of our School of Medicine and the Academic Boards are false and fictitious.” 

The headline of this article has been updated to reflect our ongoing investigation of the veracity of this report.

We are in the process of verifying these claims, and have reached out to soL International, the authors of the original report, and Marmara University for further comment. Please stay tuned.

A scientific study by Turkish heart surgeon Mert Mercan of Marmara University was rejected from the university’s academic publication because it made arguments based on evolutionary theory, reports BirGün, a leftist newspaper based in Turkey. When Mercan asked university faculty for the reason behind the rejection, a member of the university’s board reportedly replied that “it is because your article is written in a way that would put the management in a difficult position.”

According to the BirGün report, Mercan’s research paper recommends the use of brachial arteries in lieu of leg veins in bypass surgeries. Because he discussed the evolution of the circulatory system, the material was deemed unsuitable for publication. Faculty Dean Ömer Günal noted that Mercan’s paper made too many mentions of the theory and, fearing repercussions, suggested that Mercan publish his work in a private journal instead, according to the Turkish left-wing site soL International.

“There have to be people who are not afraid of promoting the theory of evolution,” Mercan tells soL International. According to the article, Mercan has left his position at Marmara University.

This recent tumult is reflective of a greater national effort to repress evolutionary concepts. In January, Turkish officials revealed plans to remove evolutionary theory from primary school curricula and according to the soL report, evolution-themed writings and exhibits have recently been removed from the Natural History Museum in Ankara. 

See “Government Nixes Teaching Evolution in Turkish Schools

Turkish reports have been translated into English using Google Translate. 

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Avatar of: WiL


Posts: 1

July 26, 2017

Evolutionary theory is attracting a lot of criticism in many countries and part of it might be fueled in the de-theorization of the teaching, which now is upgraded to a dogma with medieval defenders who are willing to penalize those Darwin non conformists or others who expose the various problems with the theory's inner frame of reference and evidence or the nature of the 'evidence' put forth while omitting any alusion to its limitations to explain biological life.

Avatar of: cewinter


Posts: 3

July 26, 2017

Scientific theories are not hypotheses! But they are not also the truth. Only religions impose on you their truth, because dogmas cannot be subjected to the experimental method. Scientific theories are our best option to know what reality is. No theory is complete, because new proved hypothesis can be added at any time and old ones will be removed as they are disproved. The five theories that are currently considered as Evolution Theory evolved (yes! theories can also evolve!!!) from the original Theory proposed by Darwin more than 100 years ago. So, you cannot say that you do not accept Evolution theory without saying that you do not accept Science in general, including Gravitation Theory and Relativity Theory. How do you explain flying airplanes or combustion motors without Science? It is the same with Biology. You cannot explain any biological phenomenon without Evolution Theory.

Avatar of: druri


Posts: 1

July 27, 2017


Very much unfortunate for the scientist and Aggie Mika, since this information is just scam. Aggie Mika and the scientist should have checked the reliability and the validity of the information which is a MUST for every single journalist. Neither the doctor nor the article exists or have existed anytime in Marmara University. No article related to this topic has been neither received nor processed in the university journal. This was a scam news report in Turkey and all related articles are all withdrawn. So it is really absurdly shocking to come across with such an unvalidated and false information from this site. You should have just called the university or at least just googled the scam name to see if the man exists in the institution. 

Rule number one: VALIDATE

(I have never thought of writing this, it never ever really came to my mind that I would write about the importance of VALIDATION here on the scientist web site. Really impressed about the journalism here :)  )

Avatar of: Rguibson


Posts: 1

July 28, 2017

This makes no sense because the Quran speaks about evolution in everything.

  • In the creation of the universe God speaks about 6 periods of time not days.

Chapter 32- As-sajdah- The prostration.

4. Allah it is Who created the heavens and the earth, and that which is between them, in six periods. Then He mounted the Throne. Ye have not, beside Him, a protecting friend or mediator. Will ye not then remember?


  • For all what is living god attributes its origin from water.

Chapter 21- The Prophets.

30. Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were of one piece, then We parted them, and We made every living thing of water? Will they not then believe?


  • He created humans in periods

Chapter 71. Noah.

13. What aileth you that ye hope not toward Allah for dignity

14. When He created you by (divers) stages?


  • He made them grow from earth like He made the plants grow from it.

Chapter 71. Noah.

17. And Allah hath caused you to grow as a growth from the earth,


  •  In another chapter God says that he added physical changes to a people after Noah.

Chapter 7 The height- Al-Araf: Verse 69

Marvel ye that there should come unto you a Reminder from your Lord by means of a man among you, that he may warn you? Remember how He made you viceroys after Noah's folk, and gave you “growth of stature” (made a physical change in your bodies). Remember (all) the bounties of your Lord, that haply ye may be successful.

Please see also : "Islamic views on evolution" in wikipedia.


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