Turkey's new intel bill partly approved

Four articles of the draft bill that extends the powers of Tukey's spy agency have been approved by Turkish parliament.

Turkey's new intel bill partly approved

World Bulletin / News Desk

Four articles of a draft law granting broader powers to Turkey's intelligence agency MIT have been endorsed by the Turkish parliament on Tuesday.

Introduced by the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, one of the approved articles of the bill allows MIT to maintain direct contact with all types of domestic and foreign institutions, establishments and organizations.

Another article permits the agency to interrogate detainees and convicts in prisons and to contact with terrorist groups posing a threat to Turkey.

The MIT will also gain broader powers to demand unrestricted access to the records of state institutions and private companies without a court order.

The Turkish Parliament has been debating the bill since last week. The draft bill will pass into law if the remaining articles get through the parliament and the president ratifies the bill in its entirety.

Turkey opposition criticize new powers for intelligence agency

Turkey's opposition leaders criticized a draft law that would give Turkeys intelligence agency more powers, during speeches at party group meetings Tuesday.

Turkey's main opposition CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu and MHP leader Devlet Bahceli said the draft law relating to the Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MIT) will lead to an "intelligence state".

"If the state is run by the means of intelligence, it would turn into authoritarian one," said Kilicdaroglu.

Bahceli approved of the decision to rescind a law that would have led to the restructuring of the country's top judicial body, after the constitutional court found the powers given to the Justice minister were unconstitutional.

Bahceli also responded to an article published in the London Review of Books (LRB) that claimed Turkey had supplied chemical weapons to Syrian rebels for an attack in 2013, saying that the government should prevent defamation of Turkey.

"Although we are an opposition party, we cannot believe in those claims regarding Turkish government supported the deadly chemical weapons attacks in neighbouring country Syria," Bahceli said.

Kilicdaroglu said his party supports reforms, independence, equality of women and men and supremacy of law – which he said the ruling party does not realize the importance of.

People's Democratic Party (HDP) co-chairman Ertugrul Kurkcu said: "In order to protect democracy, not only the Constitutional Court but all the political powers have to raise their voices."

Last Mod: 16 Nisan 2014, 09:51
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