MIT National Intelligence Organization (Turkey)
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.
According to the former director of Foreign Operations, Yavuz Ataç, the military presence in the organization is negligible. 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 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.
In order to ensure reliability, the organization has historically recruited from relatives of existing employees. The former undersecretary, Emre Taner, says that this is no longer the case. He is credited with reducing the turf war between the MİT and the police intelligence, as well as infighting inside the MİT itself. Taner announced a restructuring of the MİT at the start of 2009.
The MİT co-operates with American and Russian intelligence agencies.
The MİT has the following four major duties:
Communicating Collected Intelligence
The MİT, which exists to serve the Turkish Nation 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 and security, all the elements that constitute the constitutional order and the national power of the Republic of Turkey.
Communicating Collected Intelligence
The MİT is in charge of communicating the 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.
The MİT is in charge of counteracting intelligence activities conducted against the State. 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 State.
The MİT is in charge of Proactive Cyber Defence and the use of cyberwarfare as a platform for attack. The Turkish Ministry of National Defence considers cybersecurity as the country's "fifth force" after land, air, sea and space. The MİT uses local cybersecurity solutions mostly developed by Havelsan and Tübitak.
Providing secrecy in the conduct of the duty and activities mentioned in Law no. 2937 is indisputably of utmost importance. 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.
Permission for investigation
Pursuant to Article 26 of the Law no. 2937, "Investigation of the MİT members or any public official assigned by the cabinet or Prime Minister to perform a specific duty, in course of their duties, due to crimes that have derived from the nature of their duty or that are alleged to be committed during the conduct of their duty or due to allegations of crimes that fall under the mandate of high criminal courts established in accordance with the paragraph 1 of article 250 of the Law no. 5271, requires the permission of the cabinet or Prime Minister.
Permission for testimony
Giving testimony by the MİT members is subject to the permission of the MİT undersecretary. According to the 29th Article of Law no. 2937: In cases the secrecy of the duty and the interests of the State makes it compulsory to resort to the testimony of MİT members, the permission of the MİT Undersecretary is required. The fact that the MİT members may not give their testimony concerning State secrets that they have learnt in course of their duties without receiving the permission of the MİT Undersecretary serves the aim of protecting State interests.
The Organization owns a non-public Museum of Espionage consisting of a variety of spy equipment, which was revealed once in October 2013.