New intel law will turn Turkey into ‘al-Assad state’: CHP chief

New intel law will turn Turkey into ‘al-Assad state’: CHP chief

New intel law will turn Turkey into ‘al-Assad state’: CHP chief

CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu harshly criticizes the new intelligence law.

Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has harshly criticized the government’s move to equip the intelligence organization with expanded powers, accusing the prime minister of creating a Mukhaberat-style secret police à la Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“Turkey is rapidly becoming a dictatorial regime. The entire world has realized this dictatorial regime as well. This amendment on the MİT [National Intelligence Organization] is another step in this direction,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in an interview with daily Hürriyet yesterday. 

No institution is equipped with extraordinary powers, he said, noting that such powers were not even given to MİT during states of emergency. “Turkey is becoming an intelligence state. [Prime Minister] Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is trying to build an ‘al-Assad state.’ Syria is an intelligence state and the same is being applied here,” he said. 

The government has introduced a new law that restructures MİT and makes it the most immune and privileged state institution, in a move that came after trucks belonging to MİT being stopped and searched by either the police or gendarmerie on their way to Syria. Erdoğan described the moves as treachery and accused what he calls “the parallel state” of plotting against national intelligence. 

Kılıçdaroğlu also harshly slammed President Abdullah Gül after the latter approved a controversial Internet law after receiving assurance from the government that it would correct two problematic aspects of the law. “Mr. President signed it into law, although he was openly aware of the law’s incompatibility with the Constitution. He signed it after negotiating with the government. The president has no duty bargaining with the government, according to our laws. Approving the bill and then asking Parliament to amend two of its articles is disrespectful to Parliament,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.  

The CHP leader argued Gül made the move because of his individual political career and thus cast a dark shadow on the presidency. “On the one hand, he will talk about freedom, but on the other he will approve the prohibitions,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, accusing the president of negotiating for his future position with the government. However, he said, Gül failed in his bargain with the government, as an additional article allowing the head of the Telecommunication Directorate (TİB) to take all sorts of measures in the event of cyber-attacks has been added to the amendment.  

Urging the president not to repeat his mistake by initiating a similar bargain with the government on the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), Kılıçdaroğlu recalled the statement of an HSYK member who said the new bill would surely end judicial independence. 

“Mr. Gül complained about this statement from the HSYK member who was appointed by him. This HSYK member is not your public servant, Mr. President. As soon as you appoint him, he becomes a member of the HSYK, and it’s his natural right to share his concerns about the judiciary, if he has any,” he said.
For Kılıçdaroğlu, Gül’s moves are open support to Erdoğan’s objective of bringing the legislative and the judicial branches under the government’s control.  

Expressing his concerns about the upcoming local elections, the main opposition leader said the AKP would do whatever is necessary to not lose the government through democratic ways. 

“New conspiracies could be introduced to Turkey’s agenda by this intelligence state in this course, because Erdoğan knows very well the cost for him of losing the government. He is trying to keep his position now by lying. He will continue it with conspiracies. I will not be surprised if he introduces new scenarios on the eve of local elections. The only way for him to remain in power is through lying and inventing plots. The only thing he can’t see is the people’s common sense,” he said.