Parliamentary auditing of Turkey's intel agency will take time

Parliamentary auditing of Turkey's intel agency will take time

Parliamentary auditing of Turkeys intel agency will take time

The bill was debated at Parliament's Interior Affairs Commission over the weekend. AA photo

As time ticks for the approval of a bill to equip the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) with expanded powers before Parliament’s recess on the eve of the March 30 local polls, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) MPs have been looking for a way through the legal obstacles to opening the organization to parliamentary scrutiny.

A constitutional amendment is required for such an arrangement, but there is little time to draft and approve such an amendment, AKP Niğde deputy Alpaslan Kavaklıoğlu, one of the two ruling party deputies who submitted the bill, told Anadolu Agency.

As seen in other countries, parliamentary scrutiny of intelligence organizations is a measure against the misusing of assigned tasks, Kavaklıoğlu argued. 

If a parliamentary commission composed of ruling and the opposition lawmakers is established, this commission will be authorized to audit the undersecretary of the MİT, as well as the police and the gendarmerie, he said. He added that if needed, the commission would be able to file complaints to related offices in order to launch prosecutions.

Kavaklıoğlu said it was currently not possible to entrust Parliament with such a task. “This is our dilemma. A constitutional amendment is needed for such an arrangement. That’s probably why such an arrangement will not be possible during the adoption of this law, but we would like this very much,” he said.

During debates on the bill at the Parliament’s Internal Affairs Commission over the weekend, Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay attempted to assuage the concerns of opposition lawmakers.

“Legal intelligence and preventive intelligence are also dependent upon the judiciary in our country.  Here, we are renewing that promise. We need Parliament’s auditing about security and we also need to work with Parliament. We also need to include all other security units in this effort,” Atalay said at the time.