Ninetieth edition of the N&O column / Spooks newsletter

(Date: Sun, 02 Jan 2005 13:16:41 +0000)

Voice stations | Morse stations | Various modes
Unid stations | Military stations | 2004 Clandestine activity survey
Memory lane | Intelligence profile : Turkey
Intelligence news | Logs
Index | NS NL Home

Intelligence profile: Turkey


Present-day Turkey was created in 1923 from the Turkish remnants of the Ottoman Empire. Soon thereafter, the country instituted secular laws to replace traditional religious fiats. In 1945 Turkey joined the UN, and in 1952 it became a member of NATO. Turkey intervened militarily on Cyprus in 1974 to protect Turkish Cypriots and prevent a Greek takeover of the island; the northern 37 percent of the island remains under Turkish Cypriot control. Relations between the Turkey and Greece have improved greatly over the past few years. In 1984, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a Marxist-Leninist, separatist group, initiated an insurgency in southeast Turkey, often using terrorist tactics to try to attain its goal of an independent Kurdistan. The group - whose leader, Abdullah OCALAN, was captured in Kenya in February 1999 - has largely ceased violent attacks since it declared a unilateral cease-fire in September 1999. Nonetheless, occasional clashes have occurred between Turkish security forces and armed PKK militants, many of whom remain in northern Iraq. In April 2002, the PKK changed its name to the Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress (KADEK). In November 2003, the group changed names again, becoming the Kurdistan People's Congress (KHK).


Country name : Turkiye Cumhuriyeti (Republic of Turkey)
Short form : Turkiye (Turkey)
Capital : Ankara
Administrative divisions : 81 provinces (iller, singular - il); Adana, Adiyaman, Afyon, Agri, Aksaray, Amasya, Ankara, Antalya, Ardahan, Artvin, Aydin, Balikesir, Bartin, Batman, Bayburt, Bilecik, Bingol, Bitlis, Bolu, Burdur, Bursa, Canakkale, Cankiri, Corum, Denizli, Diyarbakir, Duzce, Edirne, Elazig, Erzincan, Erzurum, Eskisehir, Gaziantep, Giresun, Gumushane, Hakkari, Hatay, Igdir, Isparta, Istanbul, Izmir, Kahramanmaras, Karabuk, Karaman, Kars, Kastamonu, Kayseri, Kilis, Kirikkale, Kirklareli, Kirsehir, Kocaeli, Konya, Kutahya, Malatya, Manisa, Mardin, Mersin, Mugla, Mus, Nevsehir, Nigde, Ordu, Osmaniye, Rize, Sakarya, Samsun, Sanliurfa, Siirt, Sinop, Sirnak, Sivas, Tekirdag, Tokat, Trabzon, Tunceli, Usak, Van, Yalova, Yozgat, Zonguldak

Military branches

Land Forces, Air Force, Naval Forces Command (includes Naval Air and Naval Infantry), Coast Guard Command, Gendarmerie

Security & intelligence

Milli Istihbarat Teskilati (MIT)
National Intelligence Organization

The first Turkish intelligence organization was established in 1914. It was called Teskilat-i Mahsusa (Special Organization). That organization was replaced by Karakol Cemiyeti (Police Guild) in 1918. In 1920 KC dissolved and the Hamza Grubu (Hazma Group) was established, but not for long because in 1921 it changed its name in Felah Grubu (Felah Group). Between 1920 and 1965 a number of organizations were established and closed down again. To name a just few: Askeri Polis Teskilati (Military Police Organization or "AP"), Tedkik Heyeti Amirlikeri (Inspection Board Directorates) and the Mudafaa-i Milliye (National Defense). The Turkish Grand National Assembly officially approved the establishment of the latter, which became known as "MIM". Milli Emniyet Hizmeti "MAH" (National Security Service) was founded by Ataturk in 1926 appeared to be a good organization as it stood out until 1965.

On July 22, 1965 law 644 became into force and MAH changed its name in Milli Istihbarat Teskilati "MIT" (National Intelligence Organization). The same law also provided for the control of the organization by an Undersecretary that would be subordinate only to the Prime Minister in the fulfilment of duties defined under the law.

I have copied a small part of the Law in which the general duties are defined.

The MIT is in charge of collecting nationwide security intelligence on existing and potential threats from internal and external sources conducted against

Intelligence is passed on to the President, the Prime Minister, the Chief of General Staff, the General Secretary of the National Security Council and the other relevant state organizations.

The MIT is in charge of meeting the intelligence requirements and needs of the President, the Prime Minister, the Chief of General Staff, the General Secretary of the National Security Council and the other relevant ministries in the preparation and implementation of the plans concerning the national security policies of the State.

The MIT is in charge of counter-intelligence.

The MIT can not be given any other duty than those mentioned above and this organization can not be led to any other field of activity than collecting intelligence concerning the security of the State.

MIT's organization:

This directorate is in charge of psychological intelligence within and outside the country.
The main duties of this directorate are ELINT (Electronic intelligence) and SIGINT (Signal intelligence) activities. Within the framework of the duties and responsibilities as defined under the law, the MIT is successfully conducting its primary mission of counteracting all electronic and technical attacks against Turkey.
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.
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 MIT.
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 MIT's interests include domestic and 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.

Icosleri Bakanligi (IB)
Ministry of Interior

The MoI directs the National Police and several special commando units.

Disisleri Bakanligi (DB)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The MFA has a small intelligence assessment section. It also runs a research center.

Genelkurmay Bakanligi (GB)
Chief of the General Staff

The GB directs the Turkish military intelligence unit "J2". In addition to "J2" the army, navy and air force all have intelligence units.

According to the Turkish Daily News (11 July 1997) the GB also runs an unit that monitors illegal islamic fundamentalist activities.


Voice stations | Morse stations | Various modes
Unid stations | Military stations | 2004 Clandestine activity survey
Memory lane | Intelligence profile : Turkey
Intelligence news | Logs
Index | NS NL Home