Justice minister implies misconduct by telecommunications authority

Justice minister implies misconduct by telecommunications authority

Justice minister implies misconduct by telecommunications authority

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ. AA Photo

There are very grave claims suggesting that the Telecommunications Directorate (TİB) has handed over information to inappropriate individuals or groups, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ has said.

The government has indicated that a reconstruction or a purge at the TİB was imminent.

Bozdağ, speaking to reporters Dec. 25, argued that various facts have by now displayed that the TİB is a troubled institution.

“Whether it is judicial wiretapping or preventive wiretapping, wiretapping is a matter that is about the private field of our citizens. These can be performed only through court orders and by authorized individuals who are legally responsible and on the condition of obeying secrecy. There are strong mechanisms of inspection for these,” Bozdağ said.

“There are very serious claims in Turkey in regards to transferring these [wiretapping recordings] to other places or misconduct of this place through some other means. It is not possible for the government to ignore these claims or to remain silent in the face of these claims that are serious to this extent. Of course, our government will address these claims,” said Bozdağ.

“It will do whatever is required within this framework,” he added, recalling that the Ministry for Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications has long been preparing to address the matter.

“I presume they have arrived at the last phase of that preparation. We will all together see its final form,” Bozdağ said.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was the prime minister at the time, have accused the Gülen movement of organizing a plot, following the launch of a graft probe that began on Dec. 17, 2013. Wiretappings, which include alleged voice recordings of Erdoğan and his family members, along with some Cabinet members and a number of businesspeople, were leaked online simultaneously with the investigation last year.

Erdoğan said the recordings were manipulated and the TİB began to be inspected concerning the leaks.

Earlier this week, Minister for Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Lütfi Elvan announced that they plan to move the TİB’s headquarters because its operations before the start of the large graft probe last December were unknown to the government.

“The TİB has to move out of its current building to a different place because, bluntly speaking, we do not know what happened there [before the investigation],” Elvan said during an interview with Anadolu Agency.

Speaking to reporters Dec. 25 during a visit to the Black Sea province of Bartın, Elvan said had they finalized their study about the reconstruction of the TİB and introduced it to the Council of Ministers.

“We may share it with you after discussing it at a meeting of the Council of Ministers, but I’m not in a position to talk about it at this phase,” Elvan said.