Four suspects implicated in the Public Personnel Selection Examination (KPSS) cheating scandal were arrested on Tuesday upon an order by an Ankara court.
A total of five suspects who worked for Turkey's Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) had previously been referred to the court as part of an investigation by the Ankara Public Prosecutor's Office into cheating on the KPSS, an exam used to determine who will be recruited by state bodies based on their scores. One of the suspects who was released on condition of judicial control has been re-detained upon the prosecutor's objection.
The charges suspects face include forming and being members of a criminal organization, forgery of official documents, fraud in public institutions, destroying criminal evidence and wrongful conduct.
The operation was launched jointly by the Ankara Police Department's Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime Bureau and Financial Crime Bureau, and was put into action to investigate the purported Gülen Movement-linked suspects' alleged involvement in mass cheating on the 2010 KPSS, for which Fethullah Gülen is the prime suspect. The cheating scandal became public when the first wave of operations was conducted against dozens of suspects who are believed to have been involved in fraud during the KPSS in 2010, an exam used to determine who will be recruited by state bodies based on their scores.
The operation resulted in the detention of 62 suspects, 30 of whom were later released. Police later launched the second wave of the KPSS cheating investigation and took 35 of the 78 suspects into custody.
The investigation report on the probe says that the Gülen Movement, which is accused of infiltrating key state bodies in an attempt to overthrow the government, distributed the answers to the exam from one of their educational associations in the capital city of Ankara. Officials investigated the hard drives of three computers seized in the association's building, and the investigation report shows that one of the prime suspects, Sözen, had personally contacted 138 movement members, all of whom answered all the questions correctly.
Following the breaking of the cheating scandal, Baki Saçı, who is among the suspects in the KPSS case, had reportedly confessed that he was given the questions for the 2010 KPSS a day before the exam. In his testimony, Saçı reportedly said that Senior Gülenist figure, Berat Koşucu, had called him to check his email. "I have a gift for you," he reportedly told Saçı, who had no access to the Internet in his village. The suspect added that he called a friend, Mustafa Süleyman İnanç, who works as a jeweler in the town, and asked him to access his inbox so that he could have a copy of the questions as well. İnanç, who was also detained in the KPSS operation, had reportedly given the same statement in his testimony.
According to the prosecutor's office, 3,227 people answered 100 or more questions correctly on a certain section of the 2010 examination. The exam itself is composed of 120 questions. Around 350 people answered all 120 questions correctly on the exam. Out of these 350 people, 70 of them were found to be couples and 52 others were found to be living either in the same apartment building or on the same street in the same neighborhood, the office said.
Members of the Gülen Movement have allegedly infiltrated state institutions with the supposed aim of bringing down the elected government and taking over the state. The network is run by Gülen who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania.
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