This is how the Turkish army was infiltrated

This is how the Turkish army was infiltrated

The government took a radical decision after the July 15 coup attempt and closed all military high schools.

Since that day, there has been a debate about whether or not that was the right decision. In particular, a number of former chiefs of general staff have argued that it was wrong. Other parts of society have asked for the reopening of these schools, saying they represent a tradition.

But there has not been much news on the issue, apart from some statements made by Defense Minister Fikri Işık on the rationale behind the closure and the data that was influential in taking the closure decision.

I have learned that a study conducted by the Higher Education Board (YÖK) was instrumental in the decision to close the military high schools. This study gives figures about how since 2000 there has been fraud in the entry exam to military high schools, arranged by the Student Selection and Placement Center ÖSYM) operating under the YÖK.

Each year, Turkey’s military high schools take in 600 students for the land forces, 200 each for the naval and air forces, and 40 for the GATA medicine faculty. That makes 1,040.

While the number varies, each year between 30,000 and 60,000 students take the exam to make this 1,040 quota. There is considerable competition for places.

In the entrance exam, candidates are asked 30 questions on math, 30 on the Turkish language, 25 on science, 15 on the social sciences. 

Some officers have said in their testimonies since the coup that they were given the questions and answers in the military high school entry exam before taking it. 

Starting from 2000, all the results of the exams have been investigated. The information I will give here is only about the math exam, but similar tendencies can be seen in the other three sections.

There has been a sharp rise in the number of those who gave correct answers to all 30 questions since 2004.
Between 2000 and 2003, the number of those who gave correct answers to all questions was also high: 234. The record was broken in 2010, when 1,214 candidates gave the right answer to all 30 math questions.

If we consider that the military high schools take in 1,040 students each year, there is plenty of reason to have serious suspicions about nearly all students who have entered military high schools in 2010 (who are currently students in military academies). The situation is also grave in 2011, 2012 and 2013, when the number of those who gave correct answers to all questions was also not normal.

After serious changes were made in the ÖSYM following the start of operations against the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) after the Dec. 17 and 25, 2013 corruption probe, FETÖ was most probably unable to steal the exam questions as of 2014.

This is reflected immediately in the results of the exam. The number of those who answered all 30 questions correctly suddenly dropped to two in 2014 – down from 262 in 2013. In 2015, not a single entrant managed to answer all 30 questions correctly. In 2016 the number was only four.

Anyway, you don’t have to score 30 out of 30 to pass the test. It is enough to have 29 or 28 or 27 correct answers. When you look at the tests conducted before 2013, the number of those who gave 27 or more correct answers are even higher than these schools’ student quotas.

Interestingly, after 2014 an important number of those who passed the test were later disqualified following interviews. While the total number of those disqualified after interviews in the thirteen years between 2000 and 2013 was 300, in just 2014, 2015 and 2016 this number was 105!