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    Turk AKP offers joint commission to investigate tapping claims

    Hurriyet English
    29.05.2008 - 10:01 | Son Güncelleme:

    Turkey's ruling AKP is eager to investigate the tapping claims made by Turkey's main opposition party and proposed the formation a joint parliamentary commission to carry out a thorough investigation, as the CHP threatened to take the issue to court. CHP Deputy Chairman Mustafa Ozyurek told at a press conference late on Wednesday following the party's central executive board meeting the party will file a criminal complaint to the prosecutor's office. Ankara's prosecutor's office launched on Wednesday an investigation on the issue. AKP’s efforts to create a dictatorship of fear became concrete after this incident, Turkey’s nationalist MHP leader Devlet Bahceli said on Thursday in a written statement. The Interior Ministry appointed late on Thursday two investigators to probe the claims. (UPDATED)

    Bahceli also called on the AKP to lead a parliamentary investigation regarding the issue.

    Interior Minister Besir Atalay reiterated on Thursday in parliament the AKP's call for a joint commission to investigate the claims and promised to pursue the incident. 

    "I condemn the CHP for making this accusation against the government," he said during his speech in parliament. Atalay also refuted calls from the opposition party to resign from office.

    The Interior Ministry appointed on Thursday two investigators to probe the bugging claims. Turkish TV channels reported the AKP is set to submit proposal to the parliament to establish a commission to investigate the claims.

    The CHP and the nationalist MHP have raised their concerns over a tapping incident that local newspapers termed, "Turkish Watergate". The opposition parties concerns were voiced after an Islamist newspaper published Tuesday, word-for-word, a conversation between CHP's number two person and a governor.

    The offices of the CHP's General Secretary Onder Sav and party leader Deniz Baykal were searched on Tuesday and no listening devices or "bugs" were found, newspapers reported. It said this sparked concerns that room tapping could be made from a vehicle parked in front of the CHP's headquarters, and reminded a similar situation occurred with the deputy chairman of the Constitutional Court Osman Paksut, who voiced his suspicions of being followed for months.    

    Atalay rejected on Wednesday Baykal's claims that the security forces had tapped the CHP offices but said this incident should be clarified, while AKP Deputy Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat accused the CHP of casting aspersions over the ruling AKP, calling attention to the timing of the tapping claim calling it a dark cloud over the AKP’s  achievements.


    Atalay also said he had asked the authorities to launch an investigation into the allegations.


    The nationalist MHP also raised its concerns over being tapped. An official with the MHP confirmed that they have similar concerns, and accused the government of turning Turkey "into a fear empire".




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