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Turgay Avci’s degree is real, university says

turgay avci
Turgay Avci

The diploma obtained by Turgay Avci, chairman of the north’s higher education standards authority (Yodak), is authentic, his university said on Wednesday.

Speaking to the Cyprus Mail, a spokesperson for the American University of Beirut confirmed that he had graduated under the name Turgay Silah Zeki – the name he held before the law on Turkish Cypriot surnames changed under the ‘Turkish Federated State’.

The degree, as Avci had claimed, was obtained in 1985, and was a bachelor’s in electrical engineering.

Avci had faced questions regarding the authenticity of his degree but batted them back on Monday during an appearance on Kibris Postasi TV.

He pointed out that he had worked at Famagusta’s Eastern Mediterranean University for 30 years, and that he had also served as the north’s ‘foreign minister’ under ‘prime minister’ Ferdi Sabit Soyer between 2006 and 2009.

“How could someone who has been involved in politics and with the Republic of Turkey for so many years have a fake degree?” he asked.

He added that he had filed a total of seven lawsuits to clear his name, and that he believes that “the correct decision will eventually be made in court.”

I would not have done this if I had not graduated. I am not someone who you can write about left and right and destroy me. I have a wife who has suffered from very serious illnesses and two children who are lawyers. The allegations made are immoral.

“This job has now become a matter of honour for me,” he said, adding that he had sent a letter to the American University of Beirut authorising the north’s police and the Turkish foreign ministry to examine his degree certificate and records.

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