Plan to ‘tamper with’ test results part of Cage plot

September 08, 2010, Wednesday/ 16:21:00/ İBRAHİM ASALIOĞLU
A recent scandal involving the State Personnel Examination (KPSS) is indeed part of the Cage Operation Action Plan, an alleged Naval Forces Command plan mainly targeting Turkey’s non-Muslim communities, a newly discovered document has suggested.

The new Cage plot document suggests that a junta at the Naval Forces Command planned to “infiltrate” the Student Selection and Placement Center (ÖSYM) and “tamper with” the results of centralized nationwide tests. The Cage plan was retrieved from a CD seized in the office of retired Maj. Levent Bektaş, a suspect in the Ergenekon case, in April. Ergenekon is a clandestine criminal group accused of working to overthrow the government. The CD exposed the group’s plans to assassinate prominent Turkish non-Muslim figures and to put the blame for the killings on the Justice and Development Party (AK Party). The desired result was an increase in internal and external pressure on the party, leading to diminishing public support for the government.

A document included in the Cage plot mentioned a junta plan to develop friendly ties with four ÖSYM staff, identified as S.Ö., N.A., H.Y. and M.T. The four individuals would be urged to cooperate with the junta, which would eventually change the results of some national exams. Public unrest caused by the test results would, hopefully, increase pressure on the AK Party government. The increased pressure on the government from society would be an initial step for a military takeover.

Claims emerged last week that there was widespread cheating in the recent KPSS, taken by hundreds of thousands of people, as well as in many other centralized tests. Dozens of people have been detained as part of an ongoing investigation.

The fact that around 3,200 people answered most or all of the questions on the test correctly -- a first in Turkey -- has led to allegations that some of the candidates cheated during the test or obtained the questions ahead of the exam. Some of the most successful candidates were either married to each other or were friends sharing the same house, which some argue increases the likelihood that they cheated. In the Cage document, a note reads: “How much influence can we have on the test results?” and suggests that ÖSYM staff could have the safety of their families threatened if they do not agree to cooperate with the coup plotters.

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