Turkey arrests 29 over civil service exam fraud

Turkish court rules that 29 of 37 suspects to be held over alleged cheating in 2010 civil service exams and releases the rest

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A court in Turkey’s capital Ankara has ruled that 29 out of 37 suspects held for alleged fraud in a 2010 nationwide civil service recruitment exam should stand trial and released the remaining eight.

The Ankara Fifth Criminal Court of Peace ordered on Saturday for the 29 suspects to be kept under arrest, while the remaining eight suspects were released under judicial control.

On Friday, the 37 suspects were referred to the court to face charges of fraud.

The suspects were charged with "being a member of an organisation formed to commit crimes," "fraud at the expense of public institutions and establishments," and "forgery".

Earlier, the court in Ankara had ordered the detention of a total of 44 suspects over the alleged fraud in the 2010 exam. The 44 suspects included the 37 presented in the court Saturday.

Three suspects had been released earlier, while the search for four remaining suspects is still ongoing.

The Public Personnel Selection Examination, known by the initials KPSS, which is at the heart of the case, was held in 2010.

The first wave of arrests came in late March across 14 provinces, including Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir, which resulted in the detention of 62 suspects, 30 of whom were later released.

Police have allegedly uncovered the involvement of “parallel state” members in the fraud.

The suspects held in the first operation also faced charges of being members of a criminal organisation, forgery, illegal and harmful activity in public institutions, destroying criminal evidence and abuse of power.

The "parallel state," is a purported group of Turkish bureaucrats and senior officials embedded in the country's institutions, including the judiciary and the police force, which allegedly aim to undermine the current Turkish government. 

Turkey’s government alleges that the clandestine network is run by the US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen and that his religious movement is responsible for masterminding a plot to overthrow the elected authorities.

TRTWorld and agencies