Deputy PM denies profiling of citizens in gov’t, private sector


Date posted: January 2, 2014

İSTANBUL
Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay has denied that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government has profiled some 2,000 senior public officials including police chiefs, prosecutors and judges as well as academics, journalists and businesspeople.

Sending messages on New Year’s Eve on his Twitter account, Parliament’s Constitutional Commission head and AK Party deputy Burhan Kuzu claimed that “an intelligence report that was submitted to the prime minister detailed a parallel structure within state,” adding that some 2,000 people’s names are listed in that report.

Kuzu’s acknowledgement was the first admission explaining how Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government has replaced hundreds of police officers and other government employees in rushed decisions without any justification against the background of massive corruption investigations launched by prosecutors in İstanbul which implicated senior members of the government and their close relatives. Kuzu also admitted that the government foiled other possible investigations against his government in 42 provinces.

However, speaking on a TV program on Wednesday night, Kuzu said his tweets were solely based on a claim of a newspaper and that he had not heard about such a profiling list from the government.

Speaking to the press on Thursday, Atalay denied the profiling claims and stated that such profiling is not in question at all. “All these arguments will bring us to more transparency. Our democratic sensibility will also increase. All things will go according to the law,” Atalay said.

In a series of public remarks, Erdoğan talked about gangs, describing them as parallel structures within the state that pulled the trigger of the recent corruption operation against his government. He said global powers have been working with these “gangs” to oust his government and overcome the national will.

Erdoğan’s remarks were a veiled reference to a civic movement called Hizmet, inspired by Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, which has been active in education, charity and community volunteer work. Gülen’s lawyer denied any involvement in the recent graft probe and strongly rejected any link to the case.

The government should respect Turkey’s independent judiciary, the Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV), whose honorary chair is Gülen, said in a statement published on its website on Monday.

The GYV rejected conspiracy theories such as those involving a “deep state” and “parallel structures” as well as accusations of “treason,” “espionage” and “collaboration with international powers” against the interests of Turkey.

The GYV said these are simply part of a smear campaign against the Hizmet movement and suggest that the government wants to distract the public from the scandal.

The organization said it has repeatedly called on the government to submit whatever evidence of shady structures in the government it has to the judiciary.

Source: Today's Zaman , January 2, 2014


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