Ex-employee files complaint against TİB head over purge


Date posted: May 12, 2014

ANKARA

A former expert at the Telecommunications Directorate (TİB) who was recently removed from his job as part of a government-sponsored wave of purges at public institutions has filed a criminal complaint against TİB President Cemalettin Çelik and two department heads at the directorate.The complaint was submitted to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on May 7. In his petition, the complainant, whose name was not revealed to the press, claimed that Çelik resorted to many unlawful actions since he was appointed TİB president in late December of last year — shortly after a major graft operation in which some senior government officials and their family members were implicated was made public.

According to the complainant, the TİB president allegedly put immense pressure on staff at the directorate and sacked those who did not comply with his unlawful orders. The complainant was one of them, the petition read. He was fired on Jan. 20.

The complainant also claimed that two department heads working at TİB tampered with its system logs as per instructions by Çelik.

In late April, an anonymous whistleblower from TİB sent an email to newspapers and TV stations claiming there is a conspiracy to bring the faith-based Hizmet movement under suspicion of infiltrating the TİB. The email claimed that the agency tampered with its system logs to fabricate evidence that the “parallel state,” a term the government uses to describe the Hizmet movement, had listened in on around 2,000 people. The message said the electronic serial numbers (ESNs) of these people were entered into the system as per instructions from TİB President Çelik and then erased — all to make it look like the Hizmet movement had spied on Turkish citizens and then covered its tracks. The institution would then share the “recovered” numbers with newspapers.

The person, who identified himself as an active employee of TİB, said he was going public with this information because he does not want to be part of a smear campaign that could endanger the lives of many innocent people who had served the institution.

The sacked TİB expert also accused the TİB head of labeling innocent people, abusing his authority, making up false accusations against individuals, making public confidential information related to the TİB and violating the principle of secrecy. According to the expert, Çelik and some other officials at the directorate were engaged in efforts to fabricate evidence to accuse certain people of criminal behavior.

He also argued that he was removed from his post unlawfully after the former president of the TİB was reassigned by the government. He said he was working at the data processing bureau and that the Information Technologies and Communications Authority (BTK) was authorized to remove from or appoint experts to the bureau. “However, I was fired unlawfully as per the directive of the head of the TİB,” he stated.

The expert also asked prosecutors at the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office to initiate an investigation into the TİB head and two other officials at the directorate.

After Çelik was appointed to lead the TİB, an extensive purge followed in which scores of workers lost their jobs at the agency. As they were replaced, a special team was created, and Çelik vested its members with enormous authority. Claims emerged in the media that some people who identified themselves as members of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) started paying frequent visits to the TİB after Çelik’s appointment as the directorate’s new leader.

The sacked expert’s petition confirmed the claims. Some people who were not working at TİB accompanied workers at the Information Systems Department, where legal wiretaps are performed, according to the expert. “You may confirm my statement by checking footage from security cameras at the institution and from other witnesses,” he stated. He also noted that all employees at the TİB have been worried about Çelik’s unlawful actions since he was appointed as the directorate’s new president. “I witnessed many employees who wanted to take down minutes, take images of projects they were working on their computers and ask for official correspondence from their colleagues about the ongoing projects to make sure that they would not be accused of a misdeed that might lay the grounds for their dismissal,” he added.

Source: Todays Zaman , May 11, 2014


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