New spy law will turn Turkey into intelligence state: Main opposition CHP

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The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has repeated its concerns that the new law expanding the authorities and duties of the national spy agency will turn Turkey into an “intelligence state,” encouraging more pressure on opponents of the government.

“CHP lawmakers were profiled even before this law, so even worse could happen after [the law’s passage],” CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu told his parliamentary group on April 29.

Kılıçdaroğlu also described the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Law as “unconstitutional” and said his party was preparing to take it to the Constitutional Court for annulment.

The law expands the duties and scope of MİT missions both inside and outside Turkey, and was passed despite persistent criticism from opposition parties and non-governmental organizations, who say it will give enormous power to the agency without adequate check and balances. President Abdullah Gül signed the law into effect last week.

CHP head Kılıçdaroğlu vowed to continue his party’s stance against the law. “This is what an intelligence state is: Collecting intelligence on the opposition for the use of the ruling party. We are going to keep standing against it,” he said. Giving the Nazi-era Gestapo as a cautionary example, Kılıçdaroğlu urged the MİT not to become the “backyard” of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) if it wanted to continue being “national.”

Responding to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s accusations that the CHP and the Fethullah Gülen community, or Hizmet Movement, have become “allies” against the AKP, Kılıçdaroğlu called on the prime minister to document it “if he has honor.”

“It was he who said last year, ‘We did whatever they [the Gülen community] asked of us.’ You ruled the country together for 12 years. Why are you now accusing us?” he asked.

Erdoğan has recently been saying that the Gülen community is “blackmailing” top state officials, including the president, the chief of general staff and lately the head of the Constitutional Court, through audio and visual recordings, but Kılıçdaroğlu also questioned this.

“How do you know about all of these tapes? I perfectly know how he knows about them. I know with whom he is watching all of them. If he is a decent man he should make a statement about all of these issues. But can he?” he said.

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