No Amnesty For Diploma Scammers

North Cyprus News - President Ersin Tatar
[President Ersin Tatar]
Members of the legal profession have given their opinion on President Tatar’s suggestion that those involved in the fake university diploma investigation should be given amnesty, Yeniduzen reports.

President Tatar, has faced criticism from legal circles for his proposal regarding a “repentance arrangement” for those who obtained fake diplomas but did not put them into circulation, emphasising that “repentance does not eliminate a crime“.

In a television interview, Tatar suggested a “repentance arrangement” for individuals who obtained fake diplomas but did not put them into circulation within the scope of the “Fake Diploma” investigation and announced that he discussed this proposal with the Government. He later made a written statement saying that his proposal was “not an amnesty, but a formula that will not burden the police and the judiciary“.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that the UBP-YDP-DP Government has engaged in “brainstorming” sessions regarding Tatar’s proposal for a “repentance arrangement” for those who obtained fake diplomas but did not use them for personal advancement.

Speaking to Yeniduzen about the issue, leader of the minor coalition party YDP, Erhan Arıklı, stated, “We are constantly discussing this issue among ourselves. A regulation can be made for those who keep it as a souvenir or use it to hang on the wall“. 

When asked if obtaining diplomas with fake grades, even if they are hung on the wall, is a crime, he replied, “It is a crime, but there may be mitigating circumstances“.

Members of the legal profession speaking to Yeniduzen emphasised that the proposal has no place in the law and stated that such a practice would not be acceptable.

North Cyprus News - Bar Association President Hasan Esendağlı
[Head of Bar Association – Hasan Esendağlı]
President of the Bar Association, Hasan Esendağlı, said, “I think making a regulation in this direction would not be fair“, adding that there is no place for such a change in the law.

Retired Prosecuting Lawyer Hakkı Celal Önen also used the phrase “Repentance does not eliminate a crime“, stating that repentance can only be a mitigating factor during the trial process.

Former Interior Minister Ayşegül Baybars also expressed her disagreement with Tatar’s repentance proposal, stating that it would reinforce the common belief in the country that “the perpetrator will go unpunished“, and would lead to the corruption of societal values. Baybars stated, “In an environment where arbitrariness prevails and lawlessness becomes common for some groups, such a practice, which will lead to departure from justice with various amnesty policies, is unacceptable“.

Republican Turkish Party (CTP) MP Ürün Solyalı also described such a proposal by the President as “intervention” at a stage where the investigation is ongoing and there is a possibility of many cover-ups, stating that making such a crime legal would deepen social decay.

Retired Prosecutor Ergül Kızılokgil stated that there has never been a regulation in the form of a “Repentance Law or Repentance Arrangement” in north Cyprus before, saying, “It is not a regulation peculiar to us, and there has been no such practice in our implementations“. Kızılokgil said, “If you don’t want to burden the police and the judiciary, solve the problems they are dealing with internally”.


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