Turkish intelligence agency to report to president

Decree gives National Intelligence Organisation power to gather intelligence within military

Turkish intelligence agency to report to president  FILE PHOTO


Turkey’s intelligence service will report to the president from Friday, the Official Gazette said.

The National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) had previously reported to the prime minister but, in a decree issued under emergency powers introduced following last year’s defeated coup, it will now answer to the president.

The gazette also announced that the president would head the National Intelligence Coordination Board, which oversees the intelligence activities of MIT, the military and police.

The changes give President Recep Tayyip Erdogan control over domestic and overseas intelligence gathering.

For the first time, MIT will be able to gather intelligence on armed forces and Defense Ministry personnel, something previously carried out by the military.

The president will also control any potential investigation by prosecutors into the head of MIT, currently Hakan Fidan.

A prosecutor wishing to investigate the MIT director will need to gain permission from the president. If permission is denied, the prosecutor can appeal to the Council of State (Danistay) within 10 days.

Any investigation of the MIT chief will be passed to the chief prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals (Yargitay).

A state of emergency introduced days after the July 15 failed coup gives government the power to rule by decree.

Last April's constitutional referendum saw a vote in favour of adopting a presidential system of government, which is due to be implemented after the next elections in 2019.

Reporting by Sinan Uslu; Writing by Fatih Hafız Mehmet

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