Earlier in the week, Turkish daily newspaper Cumhuriyet published a headline asserting that the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) sent weapons to Syria to support the terrorist groups in the country. It also published some photos, which claimed to show those weapons. Indeed, this is neither a fresh claim, nor have the photos that were included in the news report become a topical issue for the first time, considering that the same headline, along with the same photos, was published in another newspaper on Jan. 21, 2014. As a newspaper that is known for its rigid opposition to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and for its ties to the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), Daily Cumhuriyet has resurrected this news ahead of the June 7 general elections.
Well, what is the source of those claims and photos that were used in the news report? Former imam Fethullah Gülen's organization, which has acted autonomously in the Turkish security bureaucracy, has turned the MİT into a target for four years. This is because the MİT initiated talks with the separatist and illegal PKK with the objective of ending the covert civil war that has been ongoing for 35 years. The Gülenist organization, which has ultra-nationalistic motivations hidden under an Islamic cloak, launched judicial operations and detained the MİT head with the aim of ending this process. When it fell short of its goal, the Gülenist organization started a surveillance operation of the MİT in an illegal way, and by using its technical surveillance power within the state. Despite the absence of criminal elements, the organization continued this audio surveillance for months by using its power within the police and judiciary and by violating the basic principles of the law to create evidence. Finally, it learned that MİT would send a convoy of trucks to Syria. In a sensational operation, it sabotaged MİT's secret operation. Months after the operation, which was conducted in MİT trucks and recorded by cameras, it released some photos and footage, the reliability of which is questionable, to the media.
This operation was problematic in all aspects for the following reasons:
1. In any institutionalized rule of law, the judiciary is not authorized to supervise the practices of the administration. This is called "juristocracy" in all languages.
2. The judiciary has the authority to initiate a process only if it finds a criminal element. It is not a judicial practice but a witch hunt to await the availability of acts that are the subject of an investigation by pursuing illegal technical surveillance against individuals or the administration.
3. The activities of the state's secret intelligence service are defined by law. There are evident rules regarding the judicial review of activities that are subject to national security. The legal and political responsibility for the actions of this institution belongs to the state.
4. If there is evidence that the judiciary cannot use due to the fact that the evidence is illegal, it goes against the norms of the rule of law to leak that evidence through the media in order to manipulate public opinon.
5. It is an act of espionage to collect and disclose evidence, which cannot be used in the judicial process, with the intention of obtaining information that constitutes a secret for the state's national security. International conventions bear a certain sanction for such acts.