Turkey limits court powers to question state spies

February 17, 2012 08:42

ANKARA - Turkey's parliament voted late on Thursday to prevent prosecutors from questioning intelligence officials without the prime minister's permission, after a row which analysts said revealed a government split on how to end the war with Kurdish militants.

The governing AK Party hastily introduced the amendment after prosecutors summoned National Intelligence Agency (MIT) chief Hakan Fidan for questioning on secret talks he held with the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Fidan was working in Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's office at the time of the talks before the premier promoted him to head MIT. He ignored the summons and the prosecutor who issued it was removed from the case and then put under investigation himself.

Fidan and MIT have repeatedly clashed with police over the detention and exposure of undercover operatives during the arrests of hundreds of suspected PKK sympathisers, media said.

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