Police launch fourth wave of Turkey’s exam cheating probe

Turkish police launch several operations to detain 21 people suspected of involvement in national exam cheating scandal

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Turkey’s exam cheating probe was widened on Monday as a fourth wave of investigation detaining 21 more suspects who answered all the questions of State Personnel Examination (KPSS) in 2010 right.

The police launched operations in Istanbul and the capital Ankara in order to interrogate 23 people including ministry of education and Turkey’s state channel (TRT) personnel, and couldn’t find two of them in their addresses.

The investigation regarding the leakage of KPSS questions and cheating was initially launched by Ankara Chief Prosecutor Yucel Erkman in 2010 after that year’s exam took place.

The results of 2010 KPSS showed that 350 test-takers responded to all 120 questions correctly, in despite of no candidate received the perfect score - 120 out of 120 - or even had 119 correct answers before. Of 350 “ultra successful” test-takers, 70 were spouses, 23 related, and 52 living in the same building, site or neighbourhood.

On March 23, the first wave of a fresh investigation conducted by the organised crime unit of the Ankara Police Department listed 82 suspects to be detained over charges of misconduct in 19 different provinces throughout Turkey. Among the 62 who were detained, 32 of the suspects were arrested, while 30 of were released pending judicial proceedings.

The detained 62 suspects reportedly denied the charges against them except four suspects who confessed the crimes. Asked how they achieved the perfect score in the exam, most of them said: "We worked hard on our own and succeeded."

A second wave of the operations was held on April 20 which 78 suspects were wanted in 29 different provinces and 25 of them were reported to be taken into custody. Turkish police have said some of the suspects fled their locations after a pro-Gulenist social media account known for leaking state information to the public announced the raids in previous night. Twenty-five of the remaining suspects were released with judicial controls.

Forty out of 44 new suspects were detained on May 27 in 19 provinces while four suspects ran away before the third operation. After the interrogation, the police released three suspects and sent 37 to the court. The court ordered the arrest of 29 of them and released eight suspects.

At the present, 86 suspects are jailed pending trial over KPSS probe and 21 more are on query.

It was discovered that four people among the suspects collected money and funds for the "parallel state" under the name of fraternal contribution towards the Hizmet movement, led by US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, who the Turkish government accuses of forming and governing the "parallel state."

The “parallel state” probe accuses its suspects with establishing an illegal organisation to commit crimes, recording non-public phone conversations, violation of privacy, fabrication of crimes and forgery of documents.

TRTWorld and agencies