Turkish PM points finger at CHP’s İzmir branch for massive data leak

Turkish PM points finger at CHP’s İzmir branch for massive data leak

Turkish PM points finger at CHP’s İzmir branch for massive data leak

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Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has accused a provincial branch of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) of leaking a database containing the personal information of nearly 50 million Turkish citizens, strictly rejecting the responsibility of any state institutions or ministries.

Speaking live on Habertürk TV station late on April 11, Davutoğlu said “it has emerged that members of the CHP accessed the database first circulated on the Internet back in 2011.”

“The database was given to the CHP party organization by the Supreme Election Board [YSK] ... A legal process concerning a past deputy [from the CHP] is still ongoing,” he said, responding to questions in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa. 

Earlier in the day, Davutoğlu chaired a cabinet meeting in Şanlıurfa instead of Ankara, the first held outside the capital since 2003.

“The YSK is legally obliged to give the database to each party headquarters, but it was sent to the [CHP’s] İzmir provincial branch and it was spread up from there. So the issue is about a party’s use of legal material in a wrong way,” he also said.

“When looking at the state and the state institutions and our ministries, there is no neglect or flaw at all. The Interior Ministry legally has to give the information to the YSK. And the YSK has to give it to the parties who apply to it. This is the outlook that emerged from our investigation,” Davutoğlu added.
“Perhaps this legal obligation will have to be changed. We may need to take additional measures, such as not giving this information even to the YSK, or giving it to the YSK but not handing it to parties,” he said.

After confirming that the database circulated on the Internet matched files shared by the YSK with political parties before the March 29, 2009 local elections, the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office has requested information from both the YSK and the Interior Ministry’s Directorate General of Civil Registration and Citizenship Affairs, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on April 11. 

The prosecutor has asked the YSK to identify the parties with whom it shared the information before the 2009 election, according to sources from the Chief Prosecutor’s Office.

This contradicts Davutoğlu’s statement on Habertürk, as he specifically referred to the year 2011.