Tension high as MIT crisis deepens
11 February 2012
Government rushed a draft law to increase immunities for MIT officers
Tension is mounting as prosecutors issued arrest warrants for four MIT intelligence officers. The government rushed to parliament submitting a draft law (to be discussed possibly on the 14) providing more immunities from prosecution to intelligence officers.
The government move came about as reports of the arrest of two MIT officials have taken the headlines of most evening news. The police is said to have detained on Friday two out of four officers arrest have been sought for.
Current MIT chief Hakan Fidan is one of the officers the prosecutors want to interrogate about the team which in 2010 met with representatives of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). Fidan was not a member of MIT at the time.
While Prime Minister Erdoğan had so far remained silence over the issue, president Abdullah Gül, said all of this was “unfortunate and sorrowful” for the nation. "Particular attention should be paid while making accusations against institutions because of doing their jobs given by the law" he added referring to MIT officers.
In a separate incident five people, one of them allegedly a MİT official, were taken into custody in the southern province of Adana on allegations that they handed over two Syrian dissidents to Damascus. The prosecutor said its investigation was about the alleged handing over of two Syrians – Lt. Col. Hussein al-Harmoush and Mustafa Kassum – to Syrian government forces. The two dissidents were “forcefully taken from their shelters” in the southern province of Hatay and handed over to Syrian forces.
Clearly the two incidents involving MIT officers reveal a tension not just between the government and the judiciary but within the ruling AK party as well.
BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) Şırnak MP Hasip Kaplan said the investigation could bring about links that go up to the prime minister. "If the MİT had established an illegal organisation, the order must have come from the PM," said Kaplan. He also commented that from now on any negotiation should be handled directly by the government instead of MİT.
DTK (Democratic Society Congress) co-chair and Van MP Aysel Tuğluk said the current investigation was a message to those who held meetings with Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan. Clearly, she said, there are those who do not want the government and Öcalan to have talks.
ANF / ANKARA
ANF NEWS AGENCY