Opposition reacts to AKP’s shield plan for intelligence

Opposition reacts to AKP’s shield plan for intelligence

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Opposition reacts to AKP’s shield plan for intelligence

CHP’s deputy group chair, Emine Ülker Tarhan says the proposal would amount to adding more people with judicial immunity to the existing ones.

The opposition bashed government plans for legal amendments to forestall a shocking probe into intelligence officials and likened Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to now-fallen Arab dictators yesterday.

The proposed amendment to the law regulating the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) is Erdoğan’s attempt “to protect the deep state that he has created for himself. [Moammar] Gadhafi, Saddam [Hussein] and [Hosni] Mubarak had similar powers, and we all saw how they ended up,” the deputy group chair of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Muharrem İnce said.

Under the draft, to be discussed today at Parliament’s Justice Commission, MİT employees and those assigned to “special tasks” by the prime minister cannot be prosecuted without his permission. 

İnce questioned the “special task” term in the proposal. “Let’s assume there are corruption allegations against the Istanbul Municipality. What would happen if the prime minister says that he has assigned those? This is an unconstitutional attempt to hand out judicial immunities,” he told reporters.

The CHP’s other deputy group chair, Emine Ülker Tarhan, raised objections to Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin’s suggestions for broader amendments that would secure protection for other senior officials, including military commanders.

“The abolition of special authority courts could be a promising step to resolve the problems. But this proposal would amount to adding more people with judicial immunity to the existing ones. I don’t think we need more untouchables in this country,” Tarhan said.

Oktay Vural of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) argued the government was seeking to cover up the alleged protocols that MİT officials agreed with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as part of efforts to end the Kurdish conflict.

“It is obvious the prime minister gave instructions [for talks with the PKK] without any legal basis. They are trying to provide a shield for these illegal acts. Under this proposal, murder would be legal for those assigned to a special task by the prime minister. They brought this proposal when the prime minister’s plots were uncovered,” Vural said.

In related comments, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu denounced prosecutor Sadrettin Sarıkaya’s removal from the investigation into the MİT officials as “government interference in the judiciary.”

Turkey, AKP, erdogan, mit, power struggle, chp