Turkish Cypriot Leader Ersin Tatar on Thursday made another intervention on the matter of the “fake diploma scandal” which has engulfed the north’s higher education sector.

Speaking on the occasion of “Medicine Day”, which is celebrated every March 14 in Turkey and the north, he said there has been criticism that there are “too many medical and dental schools in this country compared to its population.”

He added that the north’s higher education accreditation authority (Yodak) “may be negligent or wrong on some matters. I also think we should ask why there are so many medical schools.”

Tatar had on Wednesday called for Yodak chairman Turgay Avci to resign, with Avci currently on bail accused of having taken bribes while the now-infamous Cyprus Health and Social Sciences University (KSTU)’s medicine school was applying for Yodak accreditation.

The north’s ‘prime minister’ Unal Ustel also spoke on the matter on Thursday, saying the ‘government’ has been “following developments closely from the very first moment and making every effort to clarify the issue and to ensure our higher education sector suffers a minimal negative impact.”

He said the ‘government’ “did not remain indifferent” to the ongoing crisis and “took all the necessary measures within the framework of the rule of law.”

He added that once criminal proceedings have made their way through the courts, a disciplinary investigation will be initiated against those found guilty.

“No one can have the slightest doubt about this. We know that justice delayed is justice denied,” he said.

He added, “our country’s reputation and unity is our highest priority,” and said people can be “reassured that we will follow this issue and provide the full support necessary for its conclusion as soon as possible.”

“Any individual or institution which turns away from its responsibilities will find itself stood against our society’s common will,” he said.

He added, “with the support we receive from our people, our country will overcome this and move forward stronger.”