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CHP chief targets ÖSYM as judiciary wait begins

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News | 5/10/2011 12:00:00 AM |

Details of the court defense submitted Monday by Turkey's testing body are raising even more questions regarding the recent cheating scandal on a national exam.

Opposition party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu targeted the ÖSYM chief Ali Demir in his speech on Tuesday, expressing his disappointment that Demir still has not resigned.

“They cheated 1.7 million students of their rights. And that man [the Student Selection and Placement Center, or ÖSYM, head Demir] who has lost all shame is still sitting in his seat. He should be embarrassed,” said Republican People’s Party, or CHP, leader Kılıçdaroğlu during his election campaign stop at Burdur.

Kılıçdaroğlu also spoke about the new developments in the case, expressing his confusion on the ÖSYM’s conflicting statements. 

“First they said there is no code. Then they said it was a mistake. Then they said there is a code. Then they said there is a code, but no one cheated. If no one cheated, then why is there a code?”

Meanwhile, details of the court defense submitted Monday by Turkey’s testing body are raising even more questions regarding the recent cheating scandal on the university entrance exam, or YGS.

While ÖSYM had previously admitted the existence of an answer-revealing “code” within the national exam, the court defense denied that there was a code in the test and said the system had malfunctioned.

“How can the system not work correctly without human interference?” asked lawyer Ahmet Gürol Şağban, who had applied to Ankara’s 7th Administrative Court on Monday to have the exam canceled.

“And they are denying the code previously admitted by the ÖSYM head. This is worse than a scandal,” Şağban said. “Just now I met a student inside [the courthouse] who told me that they had first gotten a letter saying they had passed the test, and later received a different letter stating that they had failed. This is ridiculous.”

Distraught students continue to bring their claims about problems with the exam to the attention of the media. Most recently, a student who did not even take the science section of the exam received results indicating six mistakes had been made on that section.

A decision is still pending from the court on a petition filed by an exam candidate from the Central Anatolia province of Konya to annul the exam based on the cheating claims.

“I expect a result sometime this week,” Şağban told journalists Tuesday before submitting his defense to the court in the afternoon.

Speaking to daily Hürriyet, main opposition CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu claimed that “police found an e-mail in one of the computers from the ÖSYM implying that ‘the named person should be placed in a good university’ in a previous exam.”

“We do not know if this person got placed [at a good school],” Kılıçdaroğlu said, calling on the prosecutor to explain the details.

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