National Intelligence Organization (Turkey)

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National Intelligence Organization
Millî İstihbarat Teşkilatı (MİT)
Seal of the Turkish National Intelligence.png
Emblem of the National Intelligence Organization
Agency overview
Formed July 22, 1965; 52 years ago (1965-07-22)
Preceding agency
Jurisdiction Government of Turkey
Headquarters Çankaya, Ulus, Ankara, Turkey
Employees 8,000[2]
Annual budget Turkish lira symbol 8x10px.png 1.06 billion (2014)[3]
Agency executive

The National Intelligence Organization (Turkish: Millî İstihbarat Teşkilatı, MİT) is the governmental intelligence organization of Turkey. It was established in 1965 to replace the National Security Service.[4]

According to the former director of Foreign Operations, Yavuz Ataç, the military presence in the organization is negligible.[5] This is a recent development, as the organization has a military heritage. In 1990, the fraction of military personnel was 35%. Today it has dropped to 4.5% in the lower echelons [2] a former deputy undersecretary Cevat Öneş said that the MİT suffered with each coup, as the military junta that took over the organization had its own set of priorities.[6]

In order to ensure reliability, the organization has historically recruited from relatives of existing employees.[7] The former undersecretary, Emre Taner, says that this is no longer the case.[8] He is credited with reducing the turf war between the MİT and the police intelligence, as well as infighting inside the MİT itself.[9] Taner announced a restructuring of the MİT at the start of 2009.[10]

The MİT co-operates with American and Russian intelligence agencies.[11]


Nationwide Intelligence[edit]

The MİT, which exists to serve the Republic of Turkey and is furnished with duties and responsibilities in line with this aim, is in charge of collecting nationwide security intelligence on existing and potential threats from internal and external sources posed against the territory, people and integrity, the existence, independence, security, and all the other elements that compose the constitutional order and the national power of the Republic of Turkey. The MİT is in charge of communicating collected intelligence to the President, the Prime Minister, the Chief of the General Staff, the Secretary General of the National Security Council and other relevant state organizations as necessary.

The MİT is in charge of counterintelligence activities in Turkey. The MİT cannot be given any other duty and cannot be led to any other field of activity than collecting intelligence concerning the security of the Republic. The MİT engages in a proactive cyber defence program for Turkey and the use of cyberwarfare as a platform for attack. The Turkish Ministry of National Defence considers cybersecurity as the country's "fifth frontier" after land, air, sea and space. The MİT uses local cybersecurity solutions mostly developed by companies Havelsan and Tübitak.

Organizational structure[edit]

Providing secrecy in the conduct of the duty and activities the MİT is responsible for is indisputably of utmost importance. The Organisation's legal basis and structure can be found in Law No. 2937, the Law on the State Intelligence Services and the Turkish National Intelligence Organisation, as well as several other laws.[12] Moving from the standpoint that otherwise it will be impossible to render intelligence services be fulfilled at the required level, the secrecy of records and information concerning the duties and activities of the MİT has been enforced with a penal clause included in the Organizational Establishment Law. Under the 27th Article, a sentence of imprisonment shall be faced in the cases of acquiring records and information concerning the duties and activities of the MİT, disclosing these records and information on negligence and causing these records and information to be obtained by unauthorized people.

Before November 2016, when two more main departments were added, had four main departments.[13]

Permission for investigation[edit]

Pursuant to Law No. 2937, high crimes levied against a MİT agent that fall within the jurisdiction of the Heavy Penal Courts (described by Interpol as the 'Central Criminal Courts') must be approved by the Prime Minister or several other relevant officials.

Permission for testimony[edit]

Testimony in court may only be made with and by the permission of the Undersecretary of the MİT. According to Article 29 of Law No. 2937, MİT agents must not give their testimony if it pertains to state secrets without further permission from the MİT Undersecretary.


The Organization owns a non-public Museum of Espionage consisting of a variety of spy equipment, which was revealed once in October 2013.

List of undersecretaries[edit]

Name Took office Left office
1 Avni Kantan July 14, 1965 March 2, 1966
2 Mehmet Fuat Doğu March 2, 1966 March 27, 1971
3 Nurettin Ersin August 2, 1971 July 25, 1973
4 Bülent Türker July 26, 1973 February 27, 1974
5 Bahattin Özülker February 28, 1974 September 26, 1974
6 Bülent Türker September 26, 1974 November 24, 1974
7 Hamza Gürgüç November 25, 1974 July 13, 1978
8 Adnan Ersöz July 13, 1978 November 19, 1979
9 Bülent Türker November 19, 1979 September 7, 1981
10 Burhanettin Bigalı September 7, 1981 August 14, 1986
11 Hayri Ündül September 5, 1986 August 29, 1988
12 Teoman Koman August 29, 1988 August 27, 1992
13 Sönmez Köksal November 9, 1992 February 11, 1998
14 Şenkal Atasagun February 11, 1998 June 11, 2005
15 Emre Taner June 15, 2005 May 26, 2010
16 Hakan Fidan May 26, 2010 February 10, 2015[14]
17 Hakan Fidan March 09, 2015[15]


  1. ^ "History of the MİT, MİT official Web site". Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  2. ^ a b Ünlü, Ferhat (2007-07-19). "MİT'te iç çekişme entrikaya yol açtı". Sabah (in Turkish). Retrieved 2008-12-18. Yaklaşık 5 bin kadrolu personeli bulunan kurumda (Yardımcı istihbarat elemanları ile birlikte bu sayı çok daha fazla) alt kademelerdeki ordu kökenlilerin oranının yüzde 4.5'i geçmediği belirtiliyor. 
  3. ^ MIT Budget
  4. ^ Undersecretaries, MİT official website (in Turkish)
  5. ^ Ünlü, Ferhat (2007-07-16). "İngiliz general Apo'nun başına beş milyon sterlin istedi". Sabah (in Turkish). Retrieved 2008-12-18. Ataç, ordu kökenlilerin oranının hiçbir zaman yüzde dördü geçmediğini belirttiği MİT'te, sivilleşme olgusu ve asker-sivil sorunsalının yanlış ele alındığı görüşünde. 
  6. ^ "'Hiçbir darbe gizli olmadı'". 2007-07-15. Archived from the original on November 22, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-18. Öneş'e göre, askeri müdahaleler MİT'i geri bırakan asıl etkenlerdi. Çünkü MİT'in güvenlik anlayışı darbelere göre şekillendi. Demokratik süreç kesintiye uğrayınca istihbarat teşkilatı da geri kaldı. 
  7. ^ "Kim kimin akrabası?". Sabah (in Turkish). 2007-07-20. Retrieved 2008-12-18. [dead link]
  8. ^ "MİT'te akrabalık önemli referans". Sabah (in Turkish). 2007-07-20. Archived from the original on October 9, 2007. Retrieved 2008-12-18. 
  9. ^ Sariibrahimoglu, Lale (2008-12-07). "Turkey needs an intelligence coordination mechanism, says Güven". Sunday's Zaman. Archived from the original on 2009-08-31. Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  10. ^ Yetkin, Murat (2009-01-01). "Mercek altındaki MİT'te köklü değişiklik yapıldı". Radikal (in Turkish). Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  11. ^ Ünlu, Ferhat (2007-12-20). "Türki cumhuriyetlerin başkentlerini bilmiyorduk". Sabah (in Turkish). Retrieved 2008-10-22. ABD'den istihbarat geliyor 
  12. ^ "National Intelligence Organization". Retrieved 2017-02-25. 
  13. ^ "Post-coup shake-up at Turkey's intelligence agency". 6 November 2016. 
  14. ^ "Turkey". 
  15. ^ "Former Turkish spy chief re-appointed to post after abandoning election bid". 9 March 2017 – via Reuters. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°56′30.85″N 32°51′15.60″E / 39.9419028°N 32.8543333°E / 39.9419028; 32.8543333