No wiretapping unless crime committted or attempted: Turkish interior minister
Deniz Zeyrek ANKARAThe state would not wiretap Turkish citizens unless one commits an offense or is suspected of attempting a crime, Interior Minister Efkan Ala has said, amid widespread concern over a controversial new security package.
Ala pledged the previous eavesdropping cases would not be repeated and said earlier cases would be inquired at a parliamentary committee.
“The state is for the protection of communication privacy, not for wiretapping or blocking citizens’ right to privacy,” he said, adding that the government was making every effort to cultivate this understanding within the “microcirculation” of the state.
The security package, which will be discussed at Parliament in January, “should be viewed as a real step for democracy,” according to Ala.
He also cited court decisions confirming the use of Molotov cocktails as using a weapon, and therefore said they should not be used.
As gendarmerie and coastguards are being taken under the authority of the Interior Ministry, the government will increase monitoring and control.
They set up mechanisms to prevent arbitrariness in functions of the police, such as body searches, the minister said noting that the measures would be effective for specific crimes and every police or gendarmerie member would not have the authorization to detain people.
A limited number of executive officers at police stations would have the authority for detention, while regular police officers would need permission from the authorized officers before detention, he said.
A civilian commission including non-officers will monitor the gendarmerie and police department, the minister said.