‘The new National Intelligence Organization draft law will cause severe human rights violations’

Translated from Turkish by Translators for Justice

The President of Eskişehir Bar Association, Rıza Öztekin (Attorney-at-Law) expressed the reasons of his reaction over the new National Intelligence Organization draft law.During his meeting with the press in the Bar Association’s presidential office at the Palace of Justice, the president of the Bar Association of the city of Eskişehir, Rıza Öztekin (attorney-at-law) declared that the National Intelligence Organization of Turkey (MIT) was given extraordinary and unlawful authority for indexing, tracking, transmitting information and building web sites for psychological intelligence, conducting internal operations against a perceived domestic threat, conducting external operations in case of a foreign threat, and taking over the authority of the police and the gendarmerie. Öztekin maintained that if the claims of secret protocols for indexing are correct, the lawful situation will be legalized in case the new MIT draft that was made public becomes law.

He said, “In our current system it is impossible to conduct a search, seize property, tap communication, track and make similar operations without a court warrant. The court’s decision provides security for people. While the raid-like searches and seizures of property after midnight are still being disputed in our country even though they are carried out on court’s warrant, we cannot think of MIT’s prospective ability to conduct similar operations by bypassing the court. MIT’s authority to conduct operations alongside intelligence will cause severe human rights violations. The worst is that the officers involved in the operations will receive trials in special courts for the crimes they commit during the operation. These will not probably be standard trials. Turkey will never be able to get rid of ‘special authority’ courts.”
Öztekin indicated that the draft law will be dangerous for Turkey and might create chaos, and said, “These are arbitrary regulations that can pass only in fascist and dictatorial regimes in order to protect the government’s power and to eliminate all kinds of threats and dangers against it. The goal is absolute power, but one which is unaudited and uncontrolled is dangerous. The world’s political history is full of such examples.”

President Rıza Öztekin also added that he requested MPs to do everything in their power to prevent the draft from becoming law.

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