The new headquarters of the National Intelligence Agency (MİT) was opened in the capital Ankara on Jan. 6 with the attendance of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, MİT chief Hakan Fidan and government officials.
The giant building in Ankara’s Etimesgut district is called “KALE” – meaning “fortress” in Turkish – and is built on 5,000 acres of land.
There aren’t any structures around the building that’s encircled with concrete walls that are three meters high, as well as barbed wires.
The headquarters was designed to prevent bugging, unauthorized entrances and infiltration.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, Erdoğan praised the intelligence agency for its operations abroad.
“In a period that our country and the world is going through a critical process, the support of our National Intelligence Agency is needed more than ever,” he said, adding that the world is going through a restructuring phase.
“The threats that we are faced with in this painful process are both changing and increasing. The most important threat of the new period is, without a doubt, terror,” he also said.
‘PKK, YPG, FETÖ, ISIS waging war against Turkey’
Saying that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), People’s Protection Units (YPG), organization of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, which was named as the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) after it was designated as a terror group and ISIS have launched a total war against Turkey, Erdoğan noted that the internal disorders taking place in the countries in the region and the crisis caused by them are also threats.
“All Syria-based developments concern our country directly due to their terror aspects, the migration issue and political consequences,” he said.
During his speech, Erdoğan said that all events taking place in Iraq effect Turkey either directly or indirectly.
“We can’t stand idle in the face of the complex and changeable scene caused by the competition of regional and global powers in our geography. We have to develop our own game plan and bring it to life,” he added.
The President praised MİT for its role in shedding light on the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, 2018 and was killed there.
“The role played by our agency in shedding light on the Khashoggi murder is in such excellence that it made our country proud in the international level. The agency untied all the knots quickly from the beginning and prevented this blood being splattered on us, as well making our addressees feel Turkey’s force,” Erdoğan said.
MİT’s overseas operational capabilities to increase
Saying that the intelligence agency assumed a leading role in combat zones via preparing the ground for security forces, Erdoğan noted that the agency has been playing an active role in Turkey’s three cross-border operations in Syria – Operation Euphrates Shield in 2017, Operation Olive Branch in 2018 and Operation Peace Spring in 2019.
“Likewise, they are fulfilling their duties thoroughly in Libya,” he said, referring to Turkish troop deployment in the war-torn country.
The Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Fayez al-Sarraj, has been under sustained attack since April by Khalifa Haftar, whose self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) supports a rival administration based in the east of the country.
Turkey’s parliament on Jan. 2 approved the deployment of troops to Libya after it received a request for military support from Sarraj’s government, which is recognized by the international community.
Although Erdoğan repeatedly praised the agency, he also said that there’s much progress to be made.
“Developing new technologies and new operational methods are among the priorities. We will continue to increase the overseas operational capability of our agency via decreasing its duties within the country,” he said.