Military school exam questions probably stolen for 14 years: Defense minister

Military school exam questions probably stolen for 14 years: Defense minister

Military school exam questions probably stolen for 14 years: Defense minister

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Defense Minister Fikri Işık has said the ministry came to the conclusion that military academy examination questions had been stolen for a period of 14 years, as wide-scale probes into Gülenists in the wake of the July 15 failed coup attempt unearth more information about the group’s infiltration into a number of state institutions. 

“The ÖSYM [Student Selection and Placement Center] has been conducting the examination since 2000. We are of the belief that the questions had been stolen until 2014. They could not steal the questions when the structure changed after the scandal in 2014. After this date, they eliminated those who received high scores and found a chance to enter military high schools through interviews,” said Işık, referring to Gülen’s followers within the army, as he answered question on private Turkish broadcaster NTV on July 29.     

Işık said there was an institutional weakness and the work was continuing, as they had set their initial goal as “cleaning the malignant tumor” inside the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).

“We need to clean the understanding that creates coups. Now, military schools have unfortunately become the nests of this structure,” said Işık.   

Saying that more than 50 percent of the country’s generals who were suspected of being involved in the coup attempt included both those who were directly involved and those who breached their duties, Işık added the public’s reaction was rightful and that all generals were supposed to stand against the attempt.  

Işık also said his private secretary, Staff Colonel Tevfik Gök, was detained and later released and that he was now on the loose.  

“It would be wrong to blame everyone. We would be mistaken if we consider [the failed coup attempt on] July 15 only as an incident. It is a required condition but not the adequate condition,” said Işık, adding that his ministry was working to find deep-rooted answers to the causes of coups. 

Işık said they had completed work on this issue and determined a couple of alternatives, which included the readmission of pilots who were dropped in the health check process.  

“They gave great importance to pilots. They eliminated those pilots who were not from them [Gülen’s followers] through [failed] health examinations. In this situation we have prepared a plan which will give readmission rights to those in this case. We have also made a study concerning compensation. We have prepared an old regulation but we will determine its scope through discussions with Prime Minister [Binali Yıldırım] and Finance Minister [Naci Ağbal],” said Işık. 

Regarding those set to leave military schools, Işık said additional work had been done and they had secured a regulation which would solve the problems of those officers.