Turkish Parliament to debate new intelligence bill

MPs will take up bill that gives more powers to the National Intelligence Organization on Wednesday, says the ruling AK Party's group chairman.

Turkish Parliament to debate new intelligence bill

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Turkish Parliament will debate a bill Wednesday that enhances the powers of the National Intelligence Organization, said the ruling AK Party's parliamentary group chairman, Nurettin Canikli.

The draft law was approved by a parliamentary commission in February.

It empowers the intelligence organization, or MIT, to establish direct contact with 'terrorist' organizations.

The bill also enables MIT to monitor telecommunication lines and collect data relating to 'terrorism, international crimes, and foreign intelligence.' The parliament is expected to discuss details on the proposed monitoring activity.

In addition, the bill grants impunity to MIT officials from prosecution if their activities were authorized by the intelligence organization.

The draft law comes after MIT trucks were stopped by gendarmerie forces on two occasions in January. In one case, the stopped vehicle was suspected of carrying arms to Syria, an allegation which the Turkish government dismisses as false.

A public prosecutor in Turkey's south defined the interceptions as "counter-espionage", suggesting the incidents may be linked to the "state within the state". The government claims an illegal organization comprising followers of a U.S.-based Turkish cleric is nestled in state institutions, mainly the judiciary and the police.

Last Mod: 08 Nisan 2014, 16:11
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