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23 released pending trial in KPSS cheating case

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Twenty-three people, who had been among 54 suspects who had been jailed as part of an investigation into alleged cheating on the centralized 2010 State Personnel Examination (KPSS), have been released pending trial.

The fifth hearing in the trial into 230 suspects who are accused of having cheated in the 2010 KPSS exam was held on Friday. The Ankara 2nd High Criminal Court ruled to release 23 suspects pending trial while it decided to keep 31 suspects in prison.

The KPSS investigation was opened in 2010 after more than 3,227 people answered most or all of the questions on the exam correctly, leading to claims that some of the candidates had either cheated during the exam or obtained the questions beforehand.

The investigation revealed that some of the most successful candidates were either friends living in the same house or were married to one another. Claims also emerged that copies of the KPSS questions had been obtained before the exam day and were shared among thousands of candidates.

The KPSS investigation is seen as mainly targeting members of the Gülen movement, also known as the Hizmet movement, inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who preaches tolerance and interfaith dialogue between Islam and other major world religions.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan blames the movement for the infamous corruption probes involving then-ministers in his government and some of his family members that became public in December 2013. Without providing any concrete evidence, Erdoğan claims the movement tried and failed to carry out a coup attempt against him and his government. The Gülen movement strongly rejects the accusations.

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