Two weeks ago, an İstanbul prosecutor conducting a major investigation into terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)-affiliated network the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK) summoned five MİT officers, including head of MİT Hakan Fidan and former MİT Undersecretary Emre Taner and his deputy Afet Güneş, to testify as terrorist suspects. The fallout included reappointments of the prosecutor and the police officers conducting the KCK operation. A new amendment to the law on MİT was proposed by the government and passed by Parliament, making it a requirement for prosecutors to seek permission from the Prime Ministry before summoning an MİT officer.
The latest response to the crisis came in the form of an appointment. The head of MİT’s İstanbul branch, İ.N., was recalled to the capital. A person from Ankara identified as A.D. will take over the job in İstanbul. Leading the MİT İstanbul Regional Department is a highly important post and is usually the last step before being promoted to deputy undersecretary at MİT.
It seems that the government-sponsored amendment limiting prosecutors’ power to question MİT officials will not be enough to derail an ongoing investigation into MİT officials as prosecutors are now expected to prepare a preliminary indictment about the charges against these officials and send it to the prime minister to receive his permission to take the investigation further.
The investigation against the five MİT officials concerns the suspected collaboration between the KCK and MİT agents who infiltrated the KCK to gather intelligence about the organization but allegedly ended up becoming involved in illegal activities, including attacks planned by the KCK. Prosecutors say the KCK is a group that controls the PKK and other affiliated groups.
Last week summons to testify in court that were issued for five MİT officials as part of the KCK investigation were cancelled soon after the new law limiting prosecutors’ power to question MİT officials came into force.
The İstanbul Specially Authorized Prosecutor’s Office, which obtained the warrants on Feb. 10, announced on Monday that it had cancelled them.