Ersin Tatar’s bodyguard Serif Avcil appeared in court on Saturday after having been arrested on Friday night in connection with investigations into the north’s ongoing “fake diploma scandal”.

In court, police sergeant Bilger Koral said Avcil had enrolled in a master’s degree at the now-infamous Cyprus Health and Social Sciences University (KSTU) on June 5 last year, but that the university’s grading system showed him to have enrolled on February 2, 2022.

Then, he said, between June 6 and June 15 last year, “fake course grades were randomly entered, and he graduated top of his class on June 19.”

Avcil reserved the right to remain silent in court, with Koral saying he had earlier said he “did not know where the degree certificate was” and “did not use it anywhere”. He added that this will be investigated.

In addition, he said Avcil had said he had “lost his phone”.

Koral also disclosed that Avcil had complained of chest pains and been taken to hospital on Friday night.

Judge Hazal Hacimulla handed Avcil a three-day remand and ordered that he be examined in hospital.

Meanwhile, Dervish Refikler, general secretary of the north’s higher education accreditation authority (Yodak) was arrested on suspicion of taking bribes while the KSTU’s medical school was applying for Yodak accreditation.

He is accused of taking bribes consisting of $800, €700, and a set of airpods.

Police officer Ortunc Ozbayli said in court that Refikler had said he does not have an iPhone and therefore cannot use airpods.

He added that Refikler’s name was on the back of an invoice and that the signature on a payslip found resembled his, but that Refikler said he did not recall signing it.

Refikler is the third high-profile Yodak member to have been arrested for allegedly taking bribes related to the KSTU’s medical school.

Turgay Avci, Yodak chairman until his resignation on Friday, and former Yodak board member Mehmet Hasguler are both currently on bail after having allegedly received thousands of dollars in bribes.

Avci and Hasguler both maintain their innoncence.

With this in mind, Hasguler gave a bizarre interview to Yeni Duzen on Friday, comparing his arrest on suspicion of bribery to events which took place in 1974.

He told the newspaper his “1974 trauma exploded” when he was held on remand, saying he “saw violence without war” during the four nights he spent incarcerated.

He then invoked the late Leonard Cohen, saying “everyone knows the dice are loaded, but no one spoke. These feelings are important to me.”