Several former members of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), the mastermind behind the July 15 coup attempt, have exposed how the group rigged the entrance exams for the Heybeliada Naval High School.
The members, who were given the codenames Ebubekir and Talha, also described the indoctrination process of young students by their handlers and other fraudulent activities carried out by the group during viva voce and health checkups.
According to their testimonies, FETÖ identified the infiltration of military schools as a way of eventually seizing power by overthrowing the government. To that end, the group made sure young students educated at its education centers received leaked questions in the form of the preparation material.
After easily passing the written test thanks to the leaked questions, students prepared for the interview with the help of their handlers often referred to as elder brothers within the terrorist group.
They also ensured that students, recruited by the terrorist group, passed the health checks without any problems.
In order to strengthen the students’ loyalty to the organization, the handlers made students watch videos of Fetullah Gülen, the group's leader.
One of the students, codenamed “Talha,” said he joined the Heybeliada Naval High School as a young cadet with the group's help in 2012. After the coup attempt though he decided to testify against the terrorist group.
He started preparing for the military high school exams in 2011 under a handler named Ali.
“Ali was telling us about the exams and we were solving questions. About a month or two before the exam, we were solving photocopies of questions from the previous years. But, before the actual exam, there was one more practice exam where a lot of attention was paid to the mistakes we made. Questions from that practice exam appeared as is in the final test,” he said.
He added that prior to the viva voce, Ali and another handler named Esat groomed them for the interview, despite bad eyesight Talha was given a table of content to memorize and pass the preliminary health check.
Another student, codenamed “Ebubekir,” also testified how he entered the Heybeliada Naval High School in 2012.
He said the group's "elder brothers" invited young students to the group's safe houses to spend time and study. At these safe houses, they would decide which student should join which institutions.
“They decided that I should go to the naval school. At that time, I was at an education center run by FETÖ. It was an important factor in getting accepted to the school,” he said.
He added that the group of students preparing for the military academies were called to a handler's house before the exams. "The handler codenamed Kemal, a high-up in the terror group, tried to persuade us. He said the military was not in terms with our religion and there were not any good people in the army. It should have more religious people."
Ebubekir said that they also solved special test booklets at Kerem’s house and the same questions appeared in the military high school exams.
A former cader at the Heybeliada Naval High School, codenamed "Ali" said he joined the academy in 2012 with the guidance of the terrorist group.
He said a person named Halit would interview students and ask them to give a specific set of answers to certain questions that worked as codewords.
Another confessor, codenamed Hamza, said he also went to the terrorist group’s education center before joining the Heybeliada Naval High School in 2013.
Explaining the interview process after the written exam, Hamza said, “A high-ranking officer spoke to me and asked me to recite the national anthem while sitting. After reciting it a bit, I made a mistake. He told me that I was eliminated."
"But then, a colonel named Kamil asked me, ‘What do you intend to do next?’ I replied, ‘This is my only dream,’ as instructed by my handler Yusuf. After that Col. Kamil said, ‘Then let’s give you another chance’ and made me sit down and continue the interview. He also said that I was selected at the end of the interview, while the others learned their results later on,” said Hamza.