Sefa Karahasan, the Turkish public broadcaster TRT’s Cyprus correspondent, was arrested in the north in relation to the ongoing “fake diploma scandal” and appeared in court on Tuesday.

Karahasan’s arrest was related to his doctorate, which he obtained from the now-infamous Cyprus Health and Social Sciences University (KSTU) in Morphou in May last year in the field of business management.

In court on Tuesday, the police’s representative in court Ali Erdelhun said Karahasan “would have graduated in 2025” if the programme had been carried out under normal circumstances.

Karahasan had been employed at the university since 2020, and reportedly told the court that due to this, he “could have had a degree in my hand within a day” if he wanted to.

According to newspaper Yeni Duzen, police officer Ali Erdelhun told the court Karahasan had told the police he had “done everything together with Serdal Gunduz”, who is currently in prison awaiting a trial as part of the same scandal.

News website Haber Kibris said Erdelhun had added that Karahasan’s grade was “suspicious” given that he had “received the doctorate without attending any classes”.

Newspaper Ozgur Gazete said Karahasan “could not remember” the subject of his thesis.

Karahasan was remanded in custody for three days, with the police’s investigation into the matter ongoing.

Born in the Turkish Black Sea city of Giresun, Karahasan completed his entire higher education at private universities in the north, having graduated from the Near East University with a degree in journalism, and then subsequently from the University of Mediterranean Karpasia with a master’s degree in international relations.

He worked as a Cyprus correspondent first for Turkish newspaper Milliyet and later for news agency Demiroren, before joining TRT in 2021.

His arrest comes after Turkey’s higher education council (Yok) announced its intention 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 had said during a visit to the island by a delegation from Yok 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 KSTU, where police found that degrees were being handed out to people within days or in some cases hours of them registering as students.

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 in March, and resigned from his post in April.