CoHE Takes Legal Action Over Paid Theses and Assignments
January 13, 2021
The Council of Higher Education (CoHE) filed a criminal complaint to the
Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office about the suspects who prepared and
asked for theses and assignments in exchange for money.
In the bill of complaint submitted to the Ankara Courthouse by CoHE
lawyers, it was requested that a public suit be filed against the websites
committing the crimes of aggravated fraud and assistance to crime by
preparing theses or assignments in exchange for money and those who
attempted to defraud universities by getting help from these websites.
The open addresses of the websites and social media accounts that were
noted to have been preparing theses or assignments and helping people in
online exams in exchange for money were included in the bill.
The representatives of consulting/thesis preparation offices, those who
deceive public institutions by producing scientific works such as theses,
graduation projects, and assignments by getting help from these places and
those who will be identified as a result of the prosecution's investigation
were asked to be punished for "fraud”, “aggravated fraud” and “assistance
It was also emphasized that theses, graduation projects and assignments for
graduation, which are prepared in places such as thesis preparation offices
operating under the name of consulting offices or with assistance from
these places, would likely be used to get appointed to teaching positions.
The bill pointed out that the Turkish Penal Code had provisions for
aggravated fraud, fraud and assistance to crime. It was also noted that the
main perpetrators of the crime were those who prepared theses, graduation
projects, and assignments, and that the consulting/thesis preparation
offices, which were the subject of the application for complaint, would be
partners in crime. In accordance with Article 39, 157 and 158 of the
Turkish Penal Code, a public lawsuit was requested to be filed against the
officials of the consulting/thesis preparation offices and those who
deceived the public institutions by producing scientific works such as
theses, graduation projects, and assignments.
- Besides the revocation of theses, the legislation also stipulates
imprisonment and fines
According to the legislation, the studies of students who are confirmed to
have their theses, assignments or graduation projects prepared can also be
revoked. According to the Turkish Penal Code, those who commit fraud are
stipulated to be sentenced to 1 to 5 years in prison and judicial fines,
those who commit the crime of aggravated fraud to be sentenced to 3 to 10
years in prison and judicial fines, and those who helped commit the crime
are stipulated to be sentenced to half the punishment given to those who
committed the crime.
- CoHE had warned universities about the security of exams
CoHE sent a correspondence about the security measures for exams to all
universities in November last year, requesting universities to take
measures for the security of remote and online exams.
It was pointed out in the correspondence that there had been various
complaints about cheating in remote/online exams or students changing
places with others for the exams. The correspondence also included the
following statement: “It is extremely important that exam grades accurately
reflect the real achievements of students as it is related to the trust
placed in our higher education. In addition to all faculty members who
teach at Turkish universities, administrators are also obliged to take all
kinds of measures to ensure the security of the exams.”