Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters and lawmakers at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, April 8, 2014.(AP Photo)
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Turkey's government Thursday sought parliamentary approval to boost the powers of the secret service, a move seen by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's critics as a bid to tighten his grip on the apparatus of state as he wages a bitter power struggle.Control of the NATO member's security apparatus goes to the heart of a feud between Erdogan and Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, a former ally based in the United States whose network of followers wields influence in the police and judiciary.The MIT is run by Hakan Fidan, one of Erdogan's closest confidantes, who was himself the subject of an inquiry in February 2012 seen by the prime minister's circle as a challenge to his authority from a Gulen-influenced judiciary.Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay said the priority was to update existing laws that were decades out of date and to bring Turkey's spy agency in line with international peers.Erdogan's AK Party has a large majority in parliament.Senior officials have said Turkey will launch a criminal investigation into the alleged "parallel state" backed by Gulen, a crackdown likely to be led by the MIT.
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