HDP accuses gov’t of spying on entire opposition

<p dir="LTR" style="text-align: justify;">The Peoples&amp;rsquo; Democratic Party (HDP) said listening devices discovered in their Istanbul office were &amp;ldquo;the best proof&amp;rdquo; that the government was spying on all opposition politicians in Turkey, Mezopotamya news agency reported on Thursday.

&ldquo;The government is engaged in illicit, unlawful, secret methods,&rdquo; HDP Istanbul province co-chair Elif Bulut told reporters. &ldquo;They think they can beef up casefiles when they arrest one of us.&rdquo;

There are signs to believe that &ldquo;almost every member&rdquo; of the country&rsquo;s main pro-Kurdish party, which is the second-largest opposition group in parliament, is under unlawful surveillance, Bulut continued.

HDP members in Istanbul discovered at least four listening devices hidden in the offices of the provincial co-chairs, and meeting rooms used by the women&rsquo;s and youth chapters on Tuesday.

The bugs were likely placed there during police raids in 2016, Bulut said, adding that the police had not allowed the mandatory witness to accompany them during their seven-hour search of the building.

&ldquo;Such attempts against institutions that demand democracy are both criminal and show that those tasked with upholding the law are themselves unlawful,&rdquo; said Bulut&rsquo;s fellow co-chair Erdal Avci. &ldquo;During a discussion that continues at party leader level in this country, it has been proven that all of the opposition is under surveillance.&rdquo;

Avci&rsquo;s comments referred to Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu dismissing claims by main opposition Republican People&rsquo;s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu that his and his family&rsquo;s phones had been unlawfully tapped.

&ldquo;If you believe your phone has been tapped, go and press charges at the prosecutor&rsquo;s office,&rdquo; Soylu said in response, calling phone tapping of the opposition &ldquo;a perversion of the state,&rdquo; in a tweet dismissing the accusations.

The HDP said it would press charges against the Interior Ministry, which party officials say is the only institution capable of planting the bugs in such a thorough manner.

In a press conference at parliament, HDP group spokesperson Meral Danis Bestas said the party was accustomed to illegal phone taps. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not just us who says this, founding members of (the governing) party accept this,&rdquo; Bestas said.

In November, founding member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Ihsan Arslan said the government utilized unlawful tactics against its opponents in the wake of the 2016 failed coup attempt.

Another HDP group spokesperson, Saruhan Oluc, also used the press conference in parliament to point to threats against Kilicdaroglu by infamous mob boss Alaattin Cakici.

&ldquo;Don&rsquo;t think (the threats) are geared towards the opposition,&rdquo; Olu&ccedil; said. &ldquo;They are also against the AKP. The message is for you, you don&rsquo;t understand this. You will after it&rsquo;s too late.&rdquo;

Cakici&rsquo;s threatening letter to Kilicdaroglu, showed that the AKP&rsquo;s junior coalition partner, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), had &ldquo;solved the issue of unemployment for the mob,&rdquo; Oluc said, while issues of the people remain unresolved.

The MHP is widely accused of historic links to organized crime groups.

Reporter's code: 50101

News Code 148808

Your Comment

You are replying to: .