Turkish Press Review - 20 February 2014

Turkish dailies on Thursday covers a new bill boosting the powers of Turkey`s top spy agency.

Turkish dailies on Thursday covers a new bill boosting the powers of Turkey`s top spy agency.

ANKARA - Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

Turkish dailies on Thursday cover a limited array of issues including a new bill regulating the authorities of Turkey`s top spy agency, the National Intelligence Organization (MIT), and deadly anti-government protests in Ukraine.

Dailies MILLIYET, VATAN and HABERTURK are unanimous in covering a new bill which grants extensive authorities to MIT by improving its cross-border operational capacities and allowing it to operate only under the powers of the Supreme Court of Appeals and the prime minister.

HABERTURK carries the headline "Super authority to MIT," highlighting the new regulation which also allows the MIT to hold confidential negotiations with terrorist groups. In February 2012, the MIT held classified talks with leaders of the terrorist group Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, in the Norwegian capital of Oslo. After the leakage of the meeting to the media, the MIT faced wide criticism for conducting this operation.

Daily RADIKAL covers an extensive search warrant issued by the Ankara police court, which permits all kinds of searches to be conducted by the police in several districts of the capital without prior court order within fifteen days. The frontpage of the daily says two similar warrants were issued before in 2005 and 2010 and were widely criticised as it allowed the police arbitrary freedom.

The frontpage of daily HURRIYET is dominated by the recent escalation of tension in Ukraine, which led to the deaths of 26 people this week. The daily likens the protests in Kiev to last summer`s Gezi Park protests in Turkey, which originated in Istanbul as an environmentalist demonstration and later evolved all across the country into anti-government protests. The daily says the photographs featuring protesters who sought shelter in a cathedral are similar to those in Istanbul last summer when demonstrators defected to mosques to escape from alleged police crackdown.

Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency