Turkey’s “Watergate”: CHP Offices Tapped, Details Of Conversations Published In Islamist Press

News that the office of Onder Sav, Secretary General of Republican People’s Party [CHP] was bugged sent shock waves across Turkey. The CHP and the nationalist MHP have raised their concerns over the tapping incident that local media termed, "Turkish Watergate".

The scandal broke after the radical Islamist, pro-AKP daily Vakit published on Tuesday, word-by-word, a conversation that took place during a meeting between CHP's number two person and a governor that included their criticism of the AKP government. The offices of the Secretary General Onder Sav and party leader Deniz Baykal were searched on Tuesday and no listening devices or "bugs" were found, which sparked concerns that room tapping could have been made from a vehicle parked in front of the CHP headquarters that used advanced tapping technology.

Deniz Baykal accused the AKP government’s security apparatus for the bugging of his party’s offices and said that the technological facilities are systematically used against some citizens by certain F-type [i.e. Fethullah Gulen’s] organization nested within the state.

In a written statement issued on Thursday, the MHP leader Devlet Bahceli said, “AKP’s efforts to create a dictatorship of fear became concrete after this incident”, while another MHP official confirmed that they too had similar concerns and accused the government of turning Turkey into a “fear empire”.

After AKP came to power, and the police department came under the influence of the Islamist sect of Fethullah Gulen, similar situations have occurred recently for which no explanations were given: Recordings of secret conversations between military personnel were published on Youtube; alleged voice recordings of former president of the Higher Education Board [YOK] Prof. Tezic, and of conversations between two prosecutors were also published. Telephones of journalists in many newspapers were listened to and conversations leaked to the pro-AKP, Islamist media organs. This month the deputy chief justice of the Constitutional Court Osman Paksut, voiced his suspicions that he was being followed and 'listened to' for months.

Source: Vatan, Aksam, Milliyet, Hurriyet, Cumhuriyet, Turkey, May 29, 2008

Posted at: 2008-05-29


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