Turkish court accepts indictment of TIB over illegal spying

Turkish court accepts indictment accusing 28 suspects working in Telecommunications Directorate, and Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey of illegal wiretapping of government officials

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The 2nd Ankara Heavy Penal Court has accepted an indictment introduced by a prosecutor which accuses 28 former officials of two state agencies, the Telecommunications Directorate (TIB) and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBİTAK), of illegal wiretapping of high-ranking government officials.

The Ankara Chief Prosecutor prepared the indictment of 28 suspects who had worked in the TIB and TUBITAK and allegedly organised illegal wiretapping of crypto and regular phones of the officials including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, Chief of General Staff Necdet Ozel, Constitutional Court President Hasim Kilic and members of the National Security Council (MGK).

In January, Golbasi Chief Prosecution Office previously conducted the investigation and forwarded a summary of proceedings to the Ankara Chief Prosecutor.  

The names of the suspects included TIB Information Systems Directorate Ilhan Elieyioglu, former TUBITAK vice president Hasan Palaz and former TIB deputy chair Osman Nihat Sen.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Development Minister Cevdet Yilmaz, former justice minister Sadullah Ergin, and Gaziantep Metropolitan Mayor Fatma Sahin have been cited in the indictment as the complainants.

The suspects have been accused in the indictment of “being a member of armed terrorist organisation, procurement of state secrets with aim of political and military espionage, attempting to remove the government of Republic of Turkey or preventing it from performing its duties, violation of the privacy of communications,  [as well as] damaging, destruction of or making inaccessible a system of data processing.”

The indictment also says records of wiretapping between Erdogan and his son Bilal Erdogan “have been a montage constituting of the utilisation of more than one record that which are different than each other,” according to the expert report.

The suspects had audited encrypted phones used by Erdogan, Davutoglu, and other politicians without a court decision and taken the audio files from the agencies they had worked in order to transfer to the archives of the Gulen Movement, or the Parallel State Structure, the indictment added.

The Gulen movement, led by Fethullah Gulen - a US based preacher of Turkish origin - has been accused of establishing and leading a “parallel state,” composed of a network of followers who have infiltrated the judiciary, police force, and other state agencies and have attempted to take over these institutions.

The top issue discussed in the agenda of the most recent National Security Council (MGK) meeting, which is held bi-monthly for state affairs, was the Gulen Movement, which was listed as a national threat.

The MGK declaration announced, “A detailed briefing was presented about the campaign against the parallel state structure and illegal organisations threatening national security, and it was emphasised that the campaign should decisively be continued.”

TRTWorld and agencies