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North authorities ‘performing full audit’ in fake diplomas scandal

Nazim Cavusoglu

Turkish Cypriot authorities will carry out a full “academic audit” regarding the scandal of fake diplomas which has erupted in the north in recent days.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, chairman of the north’s higher education standards authority (Yodak) Turgay Avci said Yodak will carry out the academic audit after the police have continued their investigation into the matter.

He said he had held a meeting with ‘education minister’ Nazim Cavusoglu, the north’s police chief Kasim Kuni and other high-level staff, where Kuni informed them about progress as regards the investigation.

The investigation is centring on the Cyprus Health and Social Sciences University (KSTU) in Morphou, which announced earlier this month that it had “become the victim of a criminal organisation”.

Internal investigations had found that “large amounts of money were embezzled through separate bank accounts not related to the university”, and that “exaggerated and forged invoices and commission payments” allowed the embezzlers to siphon funds away from it.

Shortly afterwards, revelations of the university issuing fake diplomas surfaced, and arrests began to be made. The latest arrests were of two high-profile individuals in Morphou.

It is understood that the two arrestees are a former ‘education minister’ who was a board member at the KSTU and his wife. The pair appeared in court on Friday and were remanded in custody for three days.

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