Monday, 22 October 2007

Knowledge-Turkish National Intelligence Organization (Milli Istihbarat Teskilati--MIT)

Source:GlobalSecurity

Intelligence gathering is the primary responsibility of the National Intelligence Organization (Milli Istihbarat Teskilati--MIT), which combines the functions of internal and external intelligence agencies. In 1993 a career diplomat, Sonmez Koksal, was named undersecretary in charge of MIT, the first civilian to head the organization since the foundation of modern Turkey.
Each branch of the military has its own intelligence arm, as do the National Police and the gendarmerie. Military intelligence activities in martial law areas aim to prevent seditious activities against the state.

Intelligence operatives also engage in electronic eavesdropping and rely on reports of overseas military attach├ęs and exchange information with foreign intelligence services.

Military and civil intelligence requirements are formulated by the National Intelligence Coordination Committee. This committee includes members of the staff of the National Security Council, to which it is directly responsible.

MIT like the British MI5 has no police powers; it is authorized only to gather intelligence and conduct counterintelligence abroad and to uncover communist, extreme right-wing and separatist--that is, Kurdish and Armenian--groups internally. The MIT chief reports to the prime minister but was in the past considered close to the military. The organization functions under strict discipline and secrecy. Housing and headquarters offices for its personnel are based in a compound in Ankara.

In the past MIT has been charged with failing to notify the government when it became aware of past plots, if not actual complicity in military coup attempts. Kurdish groups in Western Europe have charged the Turkish intelligence service with fomenting dissension and unrest among their various factions. Although these claims have not been verified, it seems likely that infiltration of the Kurdish separatist movement is a high priority for MIT. Members of the agency are also suspected of having acted as agents provocateurs in leftist organizations during the 1970s. Dev Sol is believed to have been infiltrated by intelligence agents, as raids on its establishments in the early 1990s seemed to demonstrate.

No comments: