the 'islamic' time standardization institute

For those of you who does not know the reknowned turkish novel writer ahmet hamdi tanpınar and his witty work the time regulation institute, the joke in the title of our yet again turkish plagiarism story, will be lost.

in his famous book tanpınar criticises the superficial hence ala turca attempts of modernization via the all too important 'time regulation institute' and the story of the individuals who use the time regulation concepts to further their personal agenda.

well it finally happened. and sometimes reality is stranger and funnier than fiction.

mustafa helvacı, an astronomer in ankara university starts working in the religion ministry in turkey as an astronomer, since prayer time regulation is very important and one of the main tasks of the ministry: 'the standardisation of prayer times and calendars.' later he used his internal knowledge and possible contracts to acquire a scholarship for research on 'the orbital motion of moon.'

but apparently he used the money to conduct his own research on circumstellar dust around asymptotic giant branch stars. 4 years later in 2001 he came back to turkey supposing he got his degree on the 'moon orbits,' and for some reason he later got another degree in astronomy from his department on dust around AGB stars in 2003.

funny part is he has been personal advisor to former minister current president abdullah gül, and he continued his work in various government institutions due to his connections with the rising islamist party.

it was published on an article today on the 'republican' (read opposition to the islamists in turkey) newspaper. it mentions, the majority of the work is in web and have been done by the astronomers. i could not find the actual reference but i will get to the bottom of it. i will not be surprised that it was an astronomer collective action.

anyhow here is helvacı's information in ankara university website, from his kentucky connection and research papers in ads.


  1. I think there are some untrue remarks in your text.
    One is, saying that "ruling party" (over 9 years) is a rising islamist party. The AKP portrays itself as a moderate and conservative party, that advocates a liberal market economy and Turkish membership in the European Union.

    Second is, "republican" can best be defined as "Kemalist" rather than anti islamist(which is also true).

  2. and yet it would be skewing truth to say "the islamic time standardizatin institute" because they are not disregarding scientific definitions but rather applying those definitions to their needs.

  3. well anonymous, i don't think what i am saying is in contrary to what you are saying.

    there are certain wrong assumptions in your argument.

    first of all why does my islamist adjective should have a negative and unscientific connotation. it was merely a fact. it is an islamist version of tanpınar's novel.

    secondly again when i say islamist party it does not exclude the conservative liberal outlook of them. for this story the islamist part is relevant. tarlacı obviously ended up where he is through the islamist concepts he represents. also when i said rising i meant rising at the time (2003).

    thirdly, i did not say anti-islamist i said opposition. and they are called republican people's party, these are all facts.

    overall to be honest i did not have a lot time to write this, so i appreciate the additional comments, that i omitted not because in purpose but rather due to lack of time.