Turkish intelligence tied to Erdoğan by new gov’t decree

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (L) meets with Chief of Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MIT) Hakan Fidan (R) at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on August 24, 2017. Kayhan Ozer / Anadolu Agency

The Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MİT) was tied to the presidency with two new decrees that Turkey issued on Friday morning, enabled by state of emergency powers, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

According to the new decrees, which were published in the Official Gazette and numbered 693 and 694, the National Intelligence Coordinating Committee, which was previously chaired by MİT Undersecretary Hakan Fidan, will be presided over by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

With the new decrees, launching an investigation into the MİT undersecretary will be possible only with the permission of the president. Objections to a decision which gives or does not give permission to investigate the undersecretary will be made to the Council of State. In the event the permission is received, the investigation will be launched by the Supreme Court of Appeals.

The intelligence services concerning Defense Ministry and Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) personnel will be conducted by MİT.

Fidan was criticized by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) for not testifying to the legislature’s Coup Investigation Commission and submitting written testimony together with Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar after a botched coup attempt last summer.

According to the new decrees, 922 people from state institutions, including 142 from the Justice Ministry, 29 from the Interior Ministry, 19 from the Defense Ministry and 120 academics from universities, were fired.

Two newspapers, one news agency and three foundations were also shut down by the decrees.

The Turkish government has suspended or dismissed more than 146,000 people, including soldiers, judges, teachers, police officers and civil servants, since last year through government decrees issued as part of a state of emergency.

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