Turkish prosecutors on Friday handed down prison sentences of nine years and seven months to 51 defendants affiliated with the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), for leaking 2012 police academy examination questions to their collaborators.
The trials were held in Ankara's 19th High Criminal Court. The defendants were charged of being members of an armed terror group and cheating in state institution exams. Ali Osman Arslan, Fatih Güler, Uğur Bayram and Ümit Cinkir were found guilty of delivering questions and answers to FETÖ-linked candidates who were taking the an examination to qualify to enter into Turkish state institutions. The court gave them extensive prison sentences of nine years and seven months and also slapped them with fines of TL 14,000. A number of defendants benefited from cooperating with authorities in the investigation. They will be free after completing a period of probation while a total of 18 defendants were acquitted of all charges.
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.