17 April 2014, Thursday
Today's Zaman

Cihaner may tell commission about how he wiretapped PM

28 April 2013, Sunday /
The spokesperson for the parliamentary commission set up to investigate illegal wiretapping in the country has stated that the commission may hear from Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy İlhan Cihaner about how he ordered a wiretap of the phone conversations of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and several other politicians and journalists.

Cihaner gave those orders during his term in office as a chief public prosecutor.

“Our commission may make a decision to re-hear Cihaner's testimony to learn how he had the phones of prime minister and other people wiretapped,” the spokesperson, Yılmaz Tunç, was quoted by the Yeni Şafak daily on Sunday.

The commission, which consists of 17 members drawn from all political parties represented in Parliament, often invites individuals to testify about illegal wiretapping. The commission investigates what kind of equipment is being used for bugging, the primary motives behind illegal tapping and what damage this invasion of privacy causes. The commission is expected to propose suggestions on how to prevent illegal wiretapping in a final report it will prepare and submit to the Parliament Speaker's Office.

Cihaner confessed to the commission in early April that he ordered the wiretapping of phone conversations of Erdoğan, former Energy Minister Hilmi Güner, İstanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş and Yeni Şafak owner Ahmet Albayrak when he served as the Erzincan chief public prosecutor. He said the wiretappings were aimed at obtaining evidence in the course of an investigation he was involved in at the time.

Cihaner initiated a secret investigation into the activities of the İsmailağa religious community in Erzincan toward the end of 2007. The investigation continued for almost two years and the correspondence and phone conversations of several officials and members of the community were monitored. Cihaner suspected that İsmailağa was an armed terrorist group and was engaged in activities to destroy the republic.

In 2009, Ministry of Justice inspectors uncovered irregularities in the İsmailağa probe. An investigation was launched into Cihaner on the grounds that he had not informed the justice minister about his investigation into the İsmailağa religious community. Cihaner allegedly carried out the investigation illegally, in violation of established legal practices, and had overstepped his authority.

Cihaner stood trial as a result of the irregularities in the İsmailağa investigation and he would have faced consecutive prison terms of up to 26 years if found guilty. The trial was suspended, however, after he was elected to Parliament in 2011.

NATIONAL  Other Titles
Chief ombudsman laments low implementation of KDK recommendations
'Banning social media disaster for any government's global image'
Nana Zeyini dies at age of 120
Turkey's Gül says candidacy in presidential election not yet settled
92,000 die of cancer each year in Turkey
Ministerial bureaucrats purged after being profiled by MİT
Purges in police force leading to higher crime rate
Four-year-old dies after being found with slit throat, wrist
Report: Naval command allegedly profiles personnel
PM avoids suing critics of corruption out of fear ‘truth may come out'
Armenian Akdamar church restoration nears completion
Ruling AK Party to determine presidential candidate toward end of May
Probe launched into Afyonkarahisar explosion on suspicion of terrorism
Legal complaint issued over Mazhar Bağlı’s hate speech
American journalism school offers free online training in Turkish
AK Party deputies pass MİT law article-by-article despite warnings
AK Pary government punishing reassigned police officers
Commemorations for former President Özal, supporter of Turkish schools abroad
Gag order on case file in Yazıcıoğlu's death lifted
Erdoğan threatens judges, prosecutors in party group speech
Opposition leaders say PM turning Turkey into intelligence state
Opposition CHP leader likens Erdoğan to Hitler, Mussolini
Nearly 90 police officials purged in southeast Turkey
Nearly 280 police officers reassigned in four provinces
Twitter executives meet with Turkey's President Gül