Thesis writing a $28-million business in Turkey

There are approximately 50 companies in Turkey that offer graduate degree students services for thesis writing with an estimated total annual turnover of 150 million lira ($28 million), Deutsche Welle Turkish reported on Thursday. 

The owner of one of the companies told DW they charge 7,000 lira ($1,300) to write a master’s dissertation on new media. “I am someone who takes part in thesis defence juries,” the owner said.

He said 70 percent of their clients were students of medical faculties. “I pay a wage between 4,700 lira ($882) and 7,000 lira ($1,300) to academics working for me. Therefore the prices of medical thesis start from 10,000 lira ($1,877). 

He also said they charged different prices to students in different universities, adding that, the thesis were priced higher when the student was from a top university, as such a thesis needed more work. But prices are lower when the student is from Üsküdar University, he said.

Sevil Atasoy, the chancellor of Üsküdar University in Istanbul, said the owner of the company should prove his claims, adding that up to now the university had never detected a thesis written by someone other than the student. 

A person working for another thesis writing company said the practice was widespread. “First they get their money and write the student’s thesis. When the student gets the degree, they call and threaten that they will tell the thesis supervisor, and ask for more money,” the person said. 

The thesis writing business is not illegal in Turkey, but universities impose fines on students or suspend their enrolment when they detect a thesis was written by others, DW said.