Turkish opposition party says new intelligence bill will turn Turkey into a police state
Turkey has garnered international criticism in recent months over crackdowns on social media sites like Twitter and YouTube. (AFP/File)
Turkey’s main opposition party says the government’s new intelligence bill on expanding the country’s spy agency powers will turn Turkey into a police state.
Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said on Friday that the bill grants Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) the “authority to kill.”
On Thursday, the Turkish parliament approved the controversial bill, which expands the powers of the country’s spy agency and grants it more immunity.
The bill needs to be approved by President Abdullah Gul before it becomes a law.
Kilicdaroglu also voiced concern that MIT will have unchecked power to launch covert operations both domestically and abroad.
The opposition says the bill will also let the spy agency monitor private phone conversations of citizens, and illegally blacklist people.
The Turkish government says the bill will make the MIT more efficient.
The Turkish opposition also says it will make legal efforts for the cancellation of the March 30 local elections, where the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) won a majority of the local government seats.