Former Assessment Selection and Placement Center (ÖSYM) head Ali Demir hired followers of the exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen to copy and distribute public personnel exam questions, the entirety of which were leaked between 2010 and 2015, according to an expert's report that appears on a recent indictment prepared by a prosecutor from department's terrorism bureau.
Demir is currently being tried on charges including membership of an armed terror organization, for a total of which 18 years and six months in prison are being sought. Demir is believed to be a follower of Fethullah Gülen, who the Turkish government says was behind the failed July 2016 military coup that sought to overthrow the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Though Erdoğan and the Gülenists were longtime allies, the government now refers to Gülen's followers as the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ).
It is widely believed that well-connected Gülenists frequently stole and distributed the questions to the exams for the Public Personnel Selection Examination (KPSS), in order to strategically insert followers of the cleric into state bureaucracies. The Gülenists are also known to have infiltrated the judiciary, the military and the police forces, and though there are murky details that remain regarding the July 2016, it is generally believed that Gülenist officers and high-ranking civilian followers were the primary actors behind it.
According to informant M.E.A, who was employed by the ÖSYM for three and a half years, he was instructed by Gülenists to create a virtual server that with the aid of software and a 'secret device' would enable exam questions to be copied and recorded to CDs which were then distributed outside.
“Though I knew about these kinds of procedures I wasn't able to say anything due to being afraid. I'm not sure which exam questions were stolen using this method but I would guess that the questions from all the exams were stolen,” said M.E.A.
For his part, Demir has denied the charges, claiming that the ÖSYM achieved an institutional identity during his tenure, and the organization took measures to ensure the security of exam questions.