The file that surprised President Gül

The file that surprised President Gül

Yalçın Doğan
Nearly 40 intelligence staff will be hired. Where? The new king TİB, which is the Directorate of Telecommunication.

The wiretappings are not done according to legal procedures. The bill being debated in Parliament is putting the TİB in place of the judiciary.

Digital data are intercepted and these are submitted to courts as evidence. This situation caused the arrests of journalists, deputies, scientists, officers, noncommissioned officers and even commanders of forces.

In the Parliamentary Investigation Commission, which was set up to prevent and determine violations in freedom of communication, intelligence organizations did not answer questions saying they were “state secrets.”

 I did not write the above; they are all in a file.

President Abdullah Gül invited Republican People’s Party deputy Erdal Aksünger the other day.
Aksünger is an expert in informatics. Gül wanted to be informed about the Internet law that was being debated in Parliament, even though Aksünger is an opposition deputy. Nice surprise.

Aksünger presented the file that contains the above findings. Gül was impressed, he was surprised. He did not say much to Aksünger, but he may have thought “What is happening to us?”

 ‘They eavesdrop on me’

Aksünger said this to Gül: “Those establishments that have the technique and personnel capable of wiretapping, monitoring and obtaining personal data, such as the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), TİB, gendarmerie intelligence, police intelligence and GSM operators should look into the foreign agencies in our country. The activities of these are related to personal data safety.”

Information provided by Aksünger shows us what kind of a country we are living in:

“A joint delegation of the CIA and Pentagon arrived in our country in 2008 and stayed for three months, but it is not known what kind of intelligence they conducted and how long this delegation actually stayed in Turkey.”

 It is impossible that the government does not know this. Well, then, the claims of “They have wiretapped me and you” become meaningless. The claim that it was the “parallel state” that was doing the monitoring has also been disproved.

Which operations the foreigners conducted, who did they share with the intelligence gathered; we do not know. It is the “homeland security” that is at stake. Gül is determined; he said he will have it “looked into.”

Goodbye to corruption stories

With this law, you will be monitored over the Internet, and yes, you will be, if necessary, blacklisted. From now on you will be classified at any matter according to your political, commercial, cultural, sexual and religious/spiritual inclinations.

With this law, you will not be able hear of any corruption stories on the grounds of protecting private lives. Even though, still, corruption is being fought against.

We journalists will not be able to write corruption stories, as a result of the new King TİB’s censorship.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) found a similar initiative “against human rights.” This law is totally against U.N. conventions and EU principles.

With this law, censorship now becomes more suitable to the technology era, but there is no difference from the past. It is like the term of Abdülhamid II. “The press is free within the framework of the law.”

Just like 130 years ago, fundamental rights and freedoms are being restricted. There will not be any private life left; however, when it is corruption in question, then “violation of privacy” takes the stage.

Not with court decisions, but with the TİB decisions.

This is where words fail.

Yalçın Doğan is a columnist for daily Hürriyet in which this piece was published on Feb 6. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.