470,000 people wiretapped over the last decade in Turkey
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Gendarmerie authorities say that it is possible for almost anybody to engage in illegal eavesdropping activity, in response to a question about the sex-tape scandal that led former main opposition leader Deniz Baykal to step down in 2010.
In areas under the Gendarmerie’s jurisdiction over the past 11 years, some 470,000 people have been subject to eavesdropping, officials from the Gendarmerie Command’s intelligence unit told members of Parliament’s Eavesdropping Examination Commission.
The commission members visited both the Police Department and the Gendarmerie Command’s intelligence unit on March 13. They also visited the headquarters of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) and Turkey’s Telecommunications Communication Presidency (TİB) yesterday. According to figures provided by the Gendarmerie, in 2002, only 380 people were eavesdropped on by their institution, while in 2012, this figure was 33,622.
No file in wire-tapping
In response to questions from deputies, gendarmerie authorities said that they found no information or documents regarding the case of the wire-tapping of the prime minister in their examination of their own records.
In response to questions about the sex-tape scandal that led former main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal to step down in 2010, gendarmerie authorities noted that in today’s world it was possible for almost anybody to engage in illegal eavesdropping activity.
Yet the case concerning Baykal seemed to have been “very professionally conducted,” the same authorities added. Baykal resigned from his post in the party after the tape scandal.
Parliament’s Eavesdropping Examination Commission was formed in late January with support from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the CHP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) for the purpose of outlining and preventing violations of privacy and freedom of communication.
Wire-trapping device in Erdoğan’s office
Illegal eavesdropping became a popular topic of debate after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made public on Dec. 21 that wiretapping devices had been found in his home office.