Turkish Parliamentary chair and lawmaker for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Mustafa Şentop, is allegedly the secret owner of a university in Skopje, Macedonia, where AKP members’ children allegedly can obtain law degrees without attending classes, claimed journalist Serdar Akinan on his YouTube channel on Monday.
The International Balkan University, with an annual fee of €3,500, was recognised in 2017, and its graduates, particularly AKP members, become judges and prosecutors in Turkey, according to Akinan. The journalist also claimed that there is no obligation to attend classes and that any student who pays the fee graduates from the law faculty.
“A university was opened in Macedonia. The secret owner of the university is the chair of our parliament, Mustafa Şentop. And children of AKP members are enrolling there, paying money. They study law. And the graduates of that university are given recognition,” Akinan said in his video.
Akinan gave an example of a friend who is studying at the university and claimed that even the court they will later be appointed to is prearranged.
“I said to the girl, ‘What are you going to do?’ She said she was going to become a judge in two years. I said, ‘How come?’ She said, ‘To earn money. There is so much money in this job now, in the prosecutor’s office and the judgeship’… She even knows the place where she will be assigned. She says, ‘I’m going to make a lot of money.’”
The university’s website claims that it has the equivalence of faculties and departments, and its students receive equivalence in a short time by following the equivalence process determined by YÖK, the Turkish Higher Education Council.
Mustafa Şentop is seen as the “Honorary President” of the university, according to reports.
There has been no official response from Şentop, who regularly visits the IBU and attends its organisations according to the official website of the university and the Turkish government-controlled media, or from the university to the allegations made by Akinan. However, the claims have caused a stir on social media, with many users expressing concern over the allegations of corruption and nepotism in the Turkish legal system.