75 police officers arrested over FETÖ probe

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published 13.04.2019 00:09

Turkish security forces arrested 75 police officers on Friday over alleged links to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).

Police sources said 75 FETÖ suspects were arrested in nationwide operations as they were accused of obtaining illicit access to the questions for a police promotion exam in 2010. Ankara prosecutors previously issued arrest warrants for 84 police officers, including 13 currently serving officers, in an ongoing probe. Some 41 were arrested in the capital Ankara during Friday's operations. The suspects were promoted to the rank of police inspector, allegedly receiving the exam questions beforehand, the General Directorate of Security said in a statement. Efforts to capture the remaining suspects are ongoing. FETÖ is implicated in a string of cheating allegations in public exams. The group is accused of using the exams as a stepping stone to the public sector where many of its members found jobs. Several members of the terrorist group were already convicted of mass cheating on a nationwide exam for civil servants. Multiple investigations into the group's methods for cheating found that FETÖ leaked questions and answers to young members, either handpicked by the group's leaders or eager to join the public sector. Former members of the group had testified in other cases that "brothers" or "imams," point men and handlers for FETÖ, provided them questions and answers for exams. Civilians are believed to have gained access to well-protected questions and answers through infiltrators in bodies tasked with organizing the exams. The Ankara Chief Prosecutor's Office launched investigations concerning police exam cheating after the 2016 coup attempt by the group's military infiltrators. It had already issued arrest warrants for dozens of suspects.

A total of 1,112 suspects were identified when all of them gave the same answers to the same 13 questions whose answers were actually misprinted, demonstrating that they had memorized the questions and answers beforehand. Their names also matched a database of Gülenist police officers found in possession of a former FETÖ member who confessed his ties to the terrorist group. The database contains names and information on police officers who were planted in law enforcement by the terrorist group. FETÖ is known for its mass infiltration of the judiciary, law enforcement, the military and the bureaucracy. The Public Personnel Selection Exam (KPSS) in 2010 was canceled years later after it was found that FETÖ had supplied the questions to hundreds of its followers. Civil servants who passed the exam have faced investigations. In 2017, security forces detained 10 suspects for fraud in the entrance examination for a prestigious Police Academy in 2009.

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