Turkish police have detained 25 people in 19 provinces after the Ankara public prosecutor Yucel Erkman issued detention warrants for 44 suspects in connection with allegations of fraud in Turkey’s 2010 State Personnel Selection Examination (KPSS) investigation.
The suspects are accused of “being a member of an organisation founded to commit crimes, forgery of official documents, fraud at the expense of public institutions and organs, removing evidence of felony, and misconduct in office,” according to the prosecutor’s order.
Police have so far detained 8 suspects in Ankara, 7 in Istanbul, 7 in Kocaeli, 4 in Erzurum, 3 in Gaziantep, and 2 in Van. Police have also detained one suspect in each of the provinces of Antalya, Bursa, Canakkale, Denizli, Eskisehir, Giresun, Hatay, Kastamonu, Kayseri, Mardin, Sakarya, Samsun and Sanliurfa.
The probe into the KPSS exam alleges that members of the Gulen Movement were involved in the leakage of the exam questions and the distribution of questions to their followers in order to place their adherents in key government institutions.
The Gulen Movement, which is led by Fethullah Gulen - a US based preacher of Turkish origin- is accused by the Turkish government of establishing and leading a “parallel state,” composed of a network of followers who allegedly infiltrated the judiciary, police force, and other state agencies to control these institutions.
The police has also launched an administrative investigation into members of the police force accused of providing information to “Fuat Avni,” a Gulen movement-linked twitter account known for revealing details about operations in advance.
Many suspects reportedly left their homes and some left the country in order to escape detention after @FuatAvni announced the details of the pre-dawn raids on Sunday night.
There have previously been several raids and a number of arrests in connection with allegations of fraud in the KPSS.
In the first raid on March 23, 82 suspects were detained of whom 30 were arrested while 30 were released on judicial controls by the court. Thirteen suspects have already been released after questioning by the prosecution. Seven suspects are still on the run.
The second operation that took place on April 20 led to the detention of 78 suspects throughout 29 provinces. Sixty nine of the 78 suspects were state personnel.
The prosecution freed two while the police released 25 suspects after questioning. 28 suspects were arrested while 20 suspects were released subject to judicial controls.
Former Turkish Student Selection and Placement Center (OSYM) presidents Unal Yarımagan and Ali Demir have also testified as suspects.
The prosecution says the information was collected from the Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK), the Social Security Institution (SGK), the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Finance, and the Civil registration and Citizenship Department of the Ministry of Interior.
According to experts no one in the history of the KPSS had previously answered 119 questions out of 120 questions correctly in the educational sciences exam. However, about 350 individuals who took the exam in 2010 responded to all 120 questions with correct answers. It was determined that 70 of them were spouses, 23 of them were relatives, 52 of them either lived in same house, same building, same housing complex or the same street.
In accordance with this information, it was revealed that a total of 1,435 suspects - including the 82 suspects who were detained in the first round of operations - have financial, social and economic ties to the Gulen movement.
In the meantime, over a dozen alleged victims of the 2010 KPSS exam misconduct have filed a motion to intervene in the probe, suggesting that the leaked questions unfairly provided the cheaters with higher results at their expense.