New powers for Turkey's intelligence agency criticized

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The draft law on Turkey's National Intelligence Agency will allow the agency broader powers to demand unrestricted access to records of state institutions and private companies without a court order

The draft law on Turkey's National Intelligence Agency will allow the agency broader powers to demand unrestricted access to records of state institutions and private companies without a court order

ANKARA - Turkey's opposition party, the CHP Thursday criticized the draft law on the Turkish National Intelligence Agency, known as MIT, saying it would turn Turkey into an "intelligence state."

Under the draft law, introduced by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AK Party, the National Intelligence Agency would gain broader powers to demand unrestricted access to records of state institutions and private companies without a court order.

"It [the draft law] was written by authoritarian understanding. There are some regulations, which any average people will not accept. All of these authorisations will turn Turkey into an intelligence state, " CHP Deputy Chair Sezgin Tanrikulu told reporters during a press conference in Ankara.

"All illegal investigations made by MIT so far will be tried to legitimate [thanks to these regulations]. Future investigations also will not be able to investigated. There cannot be this kind of preservation in any constitutional state," the deputy chair added.

If adopted, the law will also allow the intelligence agency to conduct operations against possible threats overseas. However the opposition sharply criticizes the law while the legislation’s backers say it is necessary to update the law to encompass some of the tasks it has taken on in recent years.

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