Gülen files criminal complaint over illegal wiretapping

Turkish Islamic Scholar Fethullah Gülen.
Turkish Islamic Scholar Fethullah Gülen.


Date posted: January 16, 2014

İSTANBUL
Prominent Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has filed a criminal complaint against those who illegally wiretapped the scholar’s many phone conversations with friends and also the media outlets and websites which published the distorted voice recordings of Gülen in a defamation campaign.

The newspapers Gülen has filed a complaint against — the basis of which was the violation of personal communications and manipulating society, misusing the recordings to create hatred against the scholar — were Sabah, Takvim, Star and Yeni Akit. Gülen also filed a complaint against some websites as well as couple of columnists of some dailies who abused the content of the phone conversations, using them as means to insult.

Gülen’s lawyer, Nurullah Albayrak, also appealed for an injunction on the website SoundCloud, which published illegal recordings regarding Gülen.

Albayrak stated that the content of the conversations Gülen had with friends on the phone did not contain any utterances that constitute a crime and that their broadcast violates the norms of privacy of communication in terms of wiretapping and recording conversations between individuals.

Albayrak announced on Tuesday in a press statement that Gülen would file a criminal complaint against those responsible for illegally wiretapping his phone conversations.

His statement came after phone records of Gülen speaking about efforts to shut down private financial institution Bank Asya appeared on a number of websites on Monday, deepening concerns over the privacy of individuals amid an ongoing graft scandal that has encircled Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government.

“There is broadcasting and reports on some websites and newspapers violating norms of privacy of communication in terms of wiretapping and recording conversations between individuals. Presenting the phone conversation [Gülen’s phone conversation with a friend] as an illegal situation when in fact the content includes nothing that could be considered illegal is unfair and unlawful,” said Albayrak.

Gülen’s lawyer said on Tuesday that he would start a legal process against those newspapers that ran the stories in violation of Articles 132 and 133 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) and against those who played a role in the wiretapping.

Opposition asks for parliamentary session on MİT wiretapping

Illegal wiretapping has been an issue in Parliament as well, as opposition parties have asked for a parliamentary session to address wiretappings carried out by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT).

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) İstanbul deputy Ferit Mevlüt Aslanoğlu called for a parliamentary session to inform deputies about the technical details of wiretapping.

Accusing MİT of being behind illegal wiretapping, opposition deputies called for strict measures to ensure the privacy of individuals and their right to communication without outside interference or wiretapping.

Presiding judge files complaint against Sabah daily

Meanwhile, Ömer Diken, the presiding judge of the İstanbul 10th High Criminal Court, who heard the Sledgehammer case, filed a criminal complaint on Thursday against the Sabah daily over the defamatory attitude of the daily regarding the judge.

Diken stated that he has been insulted by offensive allegations that targeted him in two separate pieces published in the daily.

Diken submitted two petitions to the court. In one of the petitions, Diken stated that by publishing his photo and highlighting his decisions while he was serving at the İstanbul 10th and 13th high criminal courts, he was highlighted as a potential target for terrorist organizations.

The same daily also published an article that targeted Diken, accusing him of acting with bias while handing down his rulings. The petition alleged that the daily’s piece was written to intentionally engender a false perception of the judge and that the piece portrays him as a member of an illegal organization.

Diken demanded a probe be launched into the editor-in-chief of the daily and the reporter who wrote the article.

Source: Todays Zaman , January 16, 2014


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