A new online system will be introduced to investigate fake diplomas after two scandals were revealed that involved civil servants working with forged diplomas for years.
The Council of Higher Education (YÖK), the state-run authority overseeing universities, moved to take strict measures against diploma forgery. YÖK completed the work on the Diploma Inquiry System, which will be launched in September. The system will provide online access to diplomas distributed by all universities in Turkey, enabling employers to see the education records of prospective employees.
Turkey was rocked by two fake diploma scandals last year and this year. It was revealed that Hasan Başaran, the head of a department at the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK), a state-run science body, forged his diploma from the country's prestigious Middle Eastern Technical University (ODTÜ). Başaran was earlier arrested for smuggling documents and data that employees are not allowed to remove from TÜBİTAK headquarters. Moreover, Ali Haktan Yılman was found to hold a fake diploma after 16 years of being employed as a doctor in public and private hospitals.
According to YÖK, nearly 1,000 employees in public agencies, which employ 3.6 million civil servants, hold fake diplomas.
Holders of fake diplomas are fined with paying back all the salaries plus interests they received during their tenure in public agencies and face immediate dismissal.