Prosecutor of national exam cheating probe receives threats

Turkish court presses criminal charges against suspect accused of threatening lead prosecutor of 2010 national exam cheating probe

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The Ankara public prosecutor’s office has pressed a criminal charge requesting a sentence of 53 years 6 months for suspect Nuri Ozturk, who is accused of threatening lead prosecutor Yucel Erkman, of a probe that investigated a 2010 national exam cheating scandal.

The exam cheating probe was launched in 2010 as a result of claims that surfaced regarding cheating in the State Personnel Examination (KPSS).

It was discovered that some of the suspects involved in the exam irregularities have connections to the Gulen movement, led by US based Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen, whom the Turkish government accuses of forming and directing a "parallel state” with the aim of overthrowing the government through a judicial coup.

The "parallel state" is also accused of placing its followers to key government posts to influence decisions in favour of the movement. Government employees are selected by the KPSS examination.

It has been reported that Ozturk is the brother of one of the suspects targeted in the examination.

Ozturk is accused of blackmailing the state prosecutor over the phone to force him to prevent “the detention of organisation members and the decipherment of their illegal activities.”

Ozturk faces 53 years and 6 months in prison on charges of “being a member of a terrorist group, blackmailing, and gaining and distributing personal information illegally.”  

The official investigation states that Ozturk bought 14 SIM cards with different identities that he claimed belonged to his colleagues.

According to the official statement, Ozturk lent one of the cards to one of his accomplices who called and threatened the prosecutor on March 22, 2015.

On March 23, the following day, claims about the prosecutor were posted by the pro-Gulenist account “@fuatavni” on Twitter.

The official investigation interpreted this action as “working cooperatively to prevent the prosecutor from working, defending organisation members under investigation and creating a hostile public opinion.”

While searching Ozturk’s house, police reportedly found a supportive letter addressed to the suspects under investigation and photographs of a piece of writing containing insults against Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Websites on which Fethullah Gulen’s lectures are published were found to have been visited by the computer of the suspect, the police reported.

In the 2010 KPSS exam, 350 test-takers responded to all 120 questions correctly - thus receiving perfect scores - despite the fact that no other candidate before them had even answered 119 questions correctly before.

It was found that of these 350 test-takers 70 were spouses, 23 were related, and 52 were living in the same building or neighbourhood.

At present, 86 suspects are currently jailed pending trial over the KPSS probe and 21 more are under investigation.

TRTWorld and agencies