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Turkey to write report on fake diploma scandal

nazim cavusoglu meclis
The north’s ‘education minister’ Nazim Cavusoglu. File photo. Cavusoglu told ‘parliament’ on Monday that police investigations into the matter are ongoing, and that he hopes the north can “turn this problem into an advantage”.

Turkey’s higher education council (Yok) is to prepare a report on the state of the north’s education system in the wake of the “fake diploma scandal”, the north’s ‘education minister’ Nazim Cavusoglu said on Monday.

A delegation from Yok arrived on the island on Monday, led by its head of higher education supervision Hamit Emrah Beris. They will remain in Cyprus for ten days, aiming to evaluate the state of higher education in the north.

Cavusoglu told ‘parliament’ on Monday that police investigations into the matter are ongoing, and that he hopes the north can “turn this problem into an advantage”.

The “fake diploma scandal” rocked the north’s education system in the opening months of the year, with multiple high-profile figures having been arrested, and many more being accused of complicity.

Revelations centred on the Cyprus Health and Social Sciences University (KSTU) in Morphou, where police found that degrees were being handed out to people within days or in some cases hours of them registering as students.

The university’s dentistry faculty had its licence revoked in February.

Former ‘education minister’ Kemal Durust was one of the many arrested, having allegedly fraudulently obtained thousands of euros by sending fake invoices to the university in question. His wife, a high-level civil servant, was also arrested, accused of having received a fake diploma.

Other high-profile arrests included Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar’s bodyguard Serif Avcil and former board member of the north’s higher education accreditation authority (Yodak) Mehmet Hasguler.

Yodak chairman Turgay Avci was also arrested, and resigned from his post.

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