CHP leader claims MİT wiretaps him, family, deputies

August 07, 2012, Tuesday/ 16:46:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

Chairman of the main opposition Republican People's party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has alleged that Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MİT) is wiretapping him, his family members and some deputies from his party.

“I have been receiving tips about technical surveillance [by MİT]. Telephone conversations had by me, my wife and my children are being wiretapped. We are also being followed. This is not something I am saying for the first time. I talked about it before, too,” Kılıçdaroğlu told a Turkish newspaper on Tuesday. The CHP leader complained that the prime minister confirmed in a sense his claims of wiretapping when he once said his ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) was aware even of Kılıçdaroğlu's “breath.”

The CHP leader also said he has “strong evidence” about wiretapping and technical surveillance by MİT. “We realize that our phone conversations are being wiretapped. Words we say in the conversations are either conveyed back to us by third parties or they appear in news stories. There are people who give us information about [MİT's] wiretaps. We have strong evidence at hand. The MİT is pursuing technical surveillance of us and is wiretapping our conversations,” he said.

Prior to this CHP Deputy Chairwoman Emine Ülker tarhan claimed that some deputies of the party are being wiretapped.

A MİT official who wished to remain anonymous, however, refuted Kılıçdaroğlu's claims of wiretapping and surveillance, saying the organization has no branch for these activities. “A similar claim was made by Tarhan in the past, too. The MİT did not have in the past and does not now have a branch for the wiretapping of phone conversations or following of persons. No such incident has occurred for this reason,” the official said.

Earlier this week, the CHP's Tarhan filed a parliamentary question at the office of the Parliament speaker, asking Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to respond to whether he gave directives to MİT officials for wiretapping some CHP deputies, including her. In the question, Tarhan complained that her phone conversations have been wiretapped for some time and the same is happening to certain other CHP deputies. “Is it correct that some deputies of the main opposition party, including me, are being wiretapped by MİT? If correct, who gave the organization the directives for wiretaps? How many other deputies are being wiretapped by MİT? And who are those deputies? Is there a legal ground to wiretap the phone conversations of a deputy chairwoman and deputies of a main opposition party?” Tarhan asked in the parliamentary question.

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