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National Intelligence Organization
Milli İstihbarat Teşkilatı (MİT)
Emblem of the National Intelligence Organization
Agency overview
Formed July 22, 1965; ago (1965-07-22)
Preceding Agency National Security Service[1]
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 Hakan Fidan, Undersecretary

The National Intelligence Organization (Turkish language: Milli 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 agency 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 agency 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 intelligence agencies.[11]


The MİT has the following four major duties:

  • Nationwide Intelligence
  • Communicating Collected Intelligence
  • Counteracting Intelligence
  • Cyber Intelligence

Nationwide Intelligence[]

The MİT, which exists to serve the Great 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 General Staff, the Secretary General of the National Security Council and other relevant state organizations.

Counteracting Intelligence[]

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.

Cyber Intelligence[]

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.

Organizational structure[]

Directorate of Psychological Intelligence

This directorate is in charge of psychological intelligence within and outside the country.

Directorate of Electronic and Technical Intelligence

The main duties of this directorate are ELINT (Electronic intelligence) and SIGINT (Signals intelligence) activities. Within the framework of the duties and responsibilities as defined under the law, the MİT is successfully conducting its primary mission of counteracting all electronic and technical attacks against Turkey.

Directorate of Intelligence

The directorate is responsible for determining the information needed on the internal and external elements threatening the national and territorial integrity, the existence, the freedom, the security, the Constitutional order and the institutions of the Republic of Turkey; for passing this need to the operational units; and for disseminating the intelligence produced after assessing the gathered information to the relevant institutions at the right time.

Directorate of Operations

After the intelligence requirements are determined by the Directorate of Intelligence, the Directorate of Operations will take over. This unit collects information from covert sources in Turkey and abroad for the MİT. The directorate also collects intelligence about organized crimes such as drugs trafficking, money laundering and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, either for terrorist or ideological purposes. In accordance with Law 2937, the MİT's interests include external organizations, financial resources, acts and movements of subversive or separatist elements working against the Constitutional order of the Republic of Turkey. Another duty of the directorate is to prevent the activities of foreign intelligence organizations in Turkey, such as collecting information or manipulating some individuals or groups.[12]

Secrecy of information and documents[]

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 afore-mentioned Article authorizes the MİT Undersecretary to decide whether the issue requiring testimony may harm the 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.

List of undersecretaries[]

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


  1. "''History of the MİT'', MİT official Web site". Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ünlü, Ferhat (2007-07-19). "MİT'te iç çekişme entrikaya yol açtı" (in Turkish). Sabah. 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 (Turkish)
  5. Ünlü, Ferhat (2007-07-16). "İngiliz general Apo'nun başına beş milyon sterlin istedi" (in Turkish). Sabah.,24B05F4AA2144A6F855F2A2250DC73B3.html. 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.,33386EA041E549C2A284DDB13135AA77.html. 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." [dead link]
  7. "Kim kimin akrabası?" (in Turkish). Sabah. 2007-07-20.,31F913863E45483AA22DE6B474E638E1.html. Retrieved 2008-12-18. [dead link]
  8. "MİT'te akrabalık önemli referans" (in Turkish). Sabah. 2007-07-20.,CEE58AD7D5964F02ADA7272981838F84.html. Retrieved 2008-12-18. [dead link]
  9. Sariibrahimoglu, Lale (2008-12-07). "Turkey needs an intelligence coordination mechanism, says Güven". Sunday's Zaman. Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  10. Yetkin, Murat (2009-01-01). "Mercek altındaki MİT’te köklü değişiklik yapıldı" (in Turkish). Radikal. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  11. Ünlu, Ferhat (2007-12-20). "Türki cumhuriyetlerin başkentlerini bilmiyorduk" (in Turkish). Sabah.,A4F2B567599649618D09539AB1DEB6C6.html. Retrieved 2008-10-22. "...ABD'den istihbarat geliyor..." 
  12. "Intelligence profile: Turkey". 2005-01-02. Retrieved 2012-08-24. 

Further reading[]

External links[]

Coordinates: 39°56′30.85″N 32°51′15.60″E / 39.9419028°N 32.854333°E / 39.9419028; 32.854333

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