Erdoğan says head of intelligence must be tied to head of state

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Monday that it is natural for a head of state to receive intelligence directly from the intelligence chief, while commenting on news that the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) had been tied to the presidency by means of a recent government decree.

Speaking during a live broadcast on NTV on Monday evening, Erdoğan said: “Is the head of state not the person who has to receive the most important intelligence and information from the intelligence agency? The state will lose its ability to move quickly if the head of intelligence is not tied personally to the head of state.”

According to the new decree, published in the Official Gazette on Friday and numbered 694, the National Intelligence Coordinating Committee, which was previously chaired by MİT Undersecretary Hakan Fidan, will be presided over by Erdoğan.

With the new decree, 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.

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