83 lawsuits filed against two people arrested for Cyprus Health and Social Sciences University diploma scandal case

The first hearing in the investigation of Serdal Gündüz, a junior partner at Cyprus Health and Social Sciences University, and his assistant Berke Özbek, began at the Güzelyurt District Court. Both men are currently being held in custody.

They were brought to court again on Friday June 7.

According to the report by, Yeniduzen, there have been a number of complaints about financial fraud and the issuing of fake diplomas at this university.

Prosecutor Damla Güçlü presented seven witnesses, starting with Mehmet Altuntaş, Secretary and Director of Helpco Education Co. Ltd., the founding company of the university, and Görkem Odacı, a dentistry student at the school.

Both witnesses expressed complaints against Gündüz. Altuntaş reported that losses were detected in the university’s data, and staff had verbally noted some irregularities.

Odacı recounted that he and his father came to Cyprus on September 5, 2023, to enrol him in the university and paid Gündüz $19,000 without receiving a receipt.

Unregistered Account Movements Detected
The court heard testimony from Altuntaş, who described his periodic visits to the island to investigate the university’s academic and administrative operations. In mid-2023, he identified losses in the university’s data and initiated more frequent investigations. By early 2024, the university began a digitalisation process, during which further irregularities were found based on staff reports.

Altuntaş filed a complaint with the Financial Branch on February 5, 2024, after discovering unregistered financial accounts.

University Suffered Great Financial Losses
During cross-examination, Altuntaş detailed how they verified the situation with students, suppliers and stakeholders. He noted that student fees were deposited into individual staff accounts rather than the university’s, with some funds specifically directed into Özbek’s account on Gündüz’s orders. Altuntaş filed a complaint against Gündüz, citing significant financial losses for the university and ensuring students’ educational rights were protected.

The second witness, Görkem Odacı, a first-year dentistry student, stated that he learned about the school through a friend and decided to enrol after being offered a 50% scholarship. On September 5, 2023, Odacı and his father met Gündüz at the university’s International Student Office, where they handed over $19,000 and the required registration documents but received no receipt, only a student certificate. Odacı lodged a complaint against Gündüz regarding the payment.

Case Continues
Judge Gülay Süleymanoğlu Uğur adjourned the session, scheduling the next hearing for June 11 at 11am to hear additional witnesses.

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