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13 June, 2024
 
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Multiple arrests in forged university diploma scandal

Several high ranking 'officials' in Cyprus' occupied areas have been arrested for issuing over 600 fraudulent university diplomas

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A scandal involving fraudulent university degrees has rocked occupied Cyprus, resulting in the arrest of several individuals, including TRT correspondent Sefa Karahasan, according to a report by the Diken news website and the Turkish Times.

Karahasan's arrest comes after revelations implicating him and Serdal Gündüz, the vice chancellor and secretary-general of the Cyprus University of Health and Social Sciences (KSTÜ), in the distribution of fraudulent diplomas. Gündüz, already in custody, is accused of issuing over 600 such documents.

The investigation, initially focused on KSTÜ, owned by Turkish lawmaker Levent Uysal, has expanded to include suspicions of people smuggling. 'Former ministers', high-ranking police and military officers and university officials have been arrested, exposing deep-seated corruption within the higher education system.

Dr. Turgay Avcı and Dr. Mehmet Hasgüler, members of the occupied area's 'Higher Education Planning, Supervision, and Accreditation Board', were accused of accepting bribes during the accreditation of a new medical faculty. The scandal implicates 36 universities in occupied Cyprus, contributing to the proliferation of diplomas and a surge in international students.

Reactions vary, with Prime Minister Ünal Üstel reportedly meeting the chief prosecutor, raising concerns of a potential cover-up. Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar's proposed "repentance scheme," pardoning individuals with forged diplomas, faces criticism from legal circles as a possible attempt to whitewash criminal activities.

[Source: Turkish Times]

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Cyprus  |  Turkey  |  education

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