The magnificent pleasure of eavesdropping

The magnificent pleasure of eavesdropping

Nobody had any doubts; so much so that on Feb. 12, 2013, a Parliamentary Investigation Commission was formed to “prevent illegal eavesdropping.” The commission prepared a 180-page report.

Today, all of a sudden, a huge uproar began, for, “Seven thousand people have been wiretapped.”

That commission’s opposition member, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Erdal Aksünger wrote his dissenting opinion in that report:

“It has been determined in the commission that authorized bodies have not conducted their eavesdropping according to the law, digital documents have been tampered with, the documents that must have been destroyed have been “served” to other bodies, but no research has been done in this regard.”

Well then, what is this uproar about the wiretapping through the pro-government media? The Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) is investigating, others are filing criminal complaints, statements follow one another; there is enormous hustle.

Aksünger recited this example, “It has been revealed during Sabri Uzun’s presentation during the commission that the unlawful eavesdropping operations were conducted entirely by civil servants. Without the permit of the person heading the government agency it would be impossible to wiretap, thus making the government also responsible.”

What is the meaning of starting this uproar of “the parallel state has eavesdropped on us,” one year later? It takes teamwork to wiretap thousands of people. It is impossible for the Justice and Development Party (AKP) not to know about it. If it knows, it is serious; if it does not know, it is even more serious. Is this uproar one of the shields against corruption claims? Is it an effort to gain supporters by saying, “The parallel state has not only eavesdropped on us, but they have also wiretapped your phones?”

Odd coincidence

For years, people have been sentenced over the transcripts of wiretapping in various court cases; for years tampering with CDs were being discussed, and now the AKP came out, saying, “We are being wiretapped.” What an amazing discovery!

The reason for this uproar will become apparent in a short time. Is it only a shield against Dec. 17; or if there are other possible expected cassettes, is this a defense reflex against them in advance?  

On the night of the day when the pro-government media runs the “Seven thousand people have been eavesdropped,” story, the cassette of the conversation that was claimed to be between Tayyip Erdoğan and his son goes viral on the Internet. What an odd coincidence!

New stronghold of eavesdropping

This government pledges it will dedicate its life to prevent wiretapping. Every world of them is involved with this. Its own parliamentary group applauds. At the moment of the wildest of applauses the new National Intelligence Organization (MİT) bill is mentioned. There are a few factors in this article that have been penned with bad Turkish.

1- The MİT does not trust its own staff; it even legitimizes their wiretapping.

2- By saying, “Notwithstanding other laws,” it is brushing aside all laws and the MİT transforms into the stronghold of eavesdropping.

3- With the justification of “collecting preventive intelligence,” full access is being provided for wiretapping.

While they are delivering speeches every day saying, “They are wiretapping us; they are creating conspiracies,” the same day, they are preparing a new law for eavesdropping. This is not applicable to normal laws, politics, psychology and sociology. Well, it may not be; it is the AKP.

End of Nixon

While approaching elections, the U.S. President Nixon was involved with the wiretapping of Watergate, where the headquarters of the rival party was situated. He rejected the accusations for a year; he blamed his rivals. But the Congress was certain; they decided to remove him from office. The Justice Commission decided he should be tried. Nixon had to resign. 

This is a very well-known example, but good to remember. Wiretapping removes presidents.

Yalçın Doğan is a columnist for daily Hürriyet in which this piece was published on Feb 26. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.