Added time: 24 February 2014, Monday 17:26
Turkey's new national intelligence organisation law
A new draft law pertaining to the National Intelligence Organization MIT that gives extraordinary powers to the organization. , including legal immunity for MIT officials.
If this draft law passed, the law will introduce penalties from 3 up to 9 years' imprisonment, for anyone who publishes highly classified MİT documents,
A move which critics say is designed to diter journalists from making secret documents public.
The draft law has received criticisms the draft bill would ensure a legal cover for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has found himself struggling with a corruption investigation that went public on Dec. 17, 2013.
If adopted, the law will allow MİT to conduct operations against possible threats overseas.
The organization will also be authorized to wiretap phone conversations overseas upon the orders of the undersecretary and his aide.
According to the draft law, if prosecutors receive a tip about MIT officials or affiliates, they will initially seek the organization's opinion about the authenticity of the tip.
If MIT says the tip concerns a duty or operation of the organization, then prosecutors will not be able to launch an investigation.
In addition, prosecutors will not be able to launch investigations into claims against MİT officials coming from unidentified individuals or individuals using fake names.
Public prosecutors, acting on tips sent to their offices, recently stopped several trucks on their way to Syria.
The trucks were allegedly escorted by MİT officers.
Even though the government said the trucks were delivering humanitarian aid to war-torn Syria, claims surfaced that the vehicles were filled with weapons to be delivered to Al-Qaide affilated groups in Syria.
Critics say the government is working to prevent future searches of trucks escorted by MIT officers en route to Syria by prosecutors on suspicion of transporting weapons.
The draft law also introduces severe penalties for obtaining and publishing MIT documents.
If this publication makes its way in the print or visual media, the sentence will then be increased to up to 12 years.
In addition, if the draft law is passed, MİT will have unfettered access to the archives and databases of every ministry and it will be able to collect any data on citizens.
What is more, the law requires private companies to hand over consumer data and technical equipment when requested.