AKP deputies compete to join ‘bugs’ commission

AKP deputies compete to join ‘bugs’ commission

There has been great interest from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies regarding joining a recently established parliamentary commission that will investigate illegal wiretapping.

The commission was formed in late January with support from the AKP, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). Its purpose is taking necessary precautions in order to outline and prevent violations of freedom of communication and secrecy of private life.

So far 70 AKP deputies have applied for the AKP’s 10 membership seats in the 17-seat commission, the AKP’s deputy parliamentary group chair Mustafa Elitaş told the Anatolia news agency on Jan. 2.

The party will name its members to the commission this week and will inform the Parliament Speaker’s Office afterwards, Elitaş said.

Meanwhile, the MHP has become the first party to name its members to the commission. The MHP has already handed over the names of Istanbul deputy Atilla Kaya and Elazığ deputy Enver Erdem to the Parliament Speaker’s Office.

Illegal eavesdropping became a popular topic of debate after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made public Dec. 21 that wiretapping devices had been found in his home office.

At the time, in its reasoning for the proposal for the establishment of the commission, the AKP said the public had a perception that despite all legal arrangements and effective penal sanctions, “bugs, secret cameras or remote eavesdropping systems” had been illegally used by the media.

“Taking into consideration the intense complaints and demands from citizens, investigation of the issue by Parliament … has become an expectation of the public,” the AKP said.