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POLITICS > Intelligence chief accused by US newspapers for doing duty: Turkish FM Davutoğlu

ANKARA – Anadolu Agency

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Ahmet Davutoğlu, who spent the Feast of Sacrifice in his hometown of Konya, gave a live interview to private broadcaster Kanal 7 aired on the night of Oct. 18. AA photo

Ahmet Davutoğlu, who spent the Feast of Sacrifice in his hometown of Konya, gave a live interview to private broadcaster Kanal 7 aired on the night of Oct. 18. AA photo

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has taken a vigorous defense of Turkish intelligence chief Hakan Fidan, saying articles published in U.S. newspapers blasting his role in Ankara’s Syria and Iran policies were besmirching his name merely because he was performing his duty.
 
“When you read these articles, Hakan Fidan is accused of establishing an independent intelligence structure and not letting other intelligence agencies operate in Turkey. Therefore, he is being blamed for doing his job,” Davutoğlu said in a live interview on private broadcaster Kanal 7 aired on the night of Oct. 18.
 
Davutoğlu’s remarks came a day after veteran Washington Post columnist David Ignatius claimed that Turkey blew the cover on a group of Israeli spies, disclosing their names to Iranian intelligence, while noting that Fidan was considered “suspect” by Israeli authorities due to his “close” ties to Tehran.
 
Another article published in the Wall Street Journal last week claimed that Fidan championed the idea of sending weapons to the Syrian opposition without any discrimination.
 
Referring in particular to Ignatius’ article, Davutoğlu said the accusations against Fidan were contradictory. “These [claims] are so inconsistent that on the one hand it is said Fidan is close to Iran, but in the same article, he is accused of supporting groups who fight against Iran’s influence. This is a very serious accusation. None of our officials act on behalf of any other country,” Davutoğlu said, adding that intelligence represented the state’s “privacy.”
 
“If this privacy is not used by the state’s units to serve only that people, your strategy can’t succeed … Turkey is not a country where other intelligence units can comfortably perform operations. This is a requirement of independence,” Davutoğlu said.
 
“I am not saying that the claims are true, but after all, every intelligence agency works for the interest of its own country,” he said.
 
Davutoğlu also said Fidan had become the head of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) after gaining “everyone’s credit” after taking part in negotiations with Israel and authorities in Gaza.
 
He also said there were “open threats” targeting Fidan. “This is the day to stand for Fidan, who has been the target of these accusations. Fidan is not doing this work for his personal interests but for Turkey,” Davutoğlu said.
 
‘Psychological pressure’
 
Davutoğlu described the claims against the intelligence chief as an attempt to alter the course of Turkish foreign policy. “They are aiming to drive [Turkey] from its specific line by exerting constant psychological pressure,” he said. 
 
The minister also rejected reports that U.S. President Barack Obama had criticized Turkey for helping radical Syrian rebel groups during Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Washington visit in May.
 
Noting that Turkey was presiding over the Global Counterterrorism Forum together with the U.S., Davutoğlu said the more the Syria crisis lingers on, the more radicalization will increase. 
 
“How and why would Turkey let this sort of organization operate across its border? We would be the first to be damaged by it,” he said.
 
Davutoğlu is set to begin a three-day tour in Syria after the Friends of the Syrian People meeting in London on Oct. 22. His visits will also include Oman and Kuwait. 

October/19/2013

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READER COMMENTS

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mara mcglothin

10/21/2013 4:31:44 PM

Right AMERICAN It wasn't before, but now...?

ilker avni

10/20/2013 8:30:42 PM

T urks by now should know turkeys true frend is turks,not israel or america,america is now run by aipac and neocons who regard Islam as the new enemy,America spends billions on covert ops in the ME,Israel and america dont want, stablity in ME,Turkey is now the target by Zionists,because Turkey under Erdogan will never shake hands with Zionists.

Murat

10/20/2013 3:44:49 PM

There is no shred of evidence that Turkey is involved in whatever happened to Israelis agents, if they existed and if anything actually happened. It does not sound like something any real organization would do, shoot yourself in the foot. Maybe Fidan is the "interest lobby" Israel has been looking for.

The Banker

10/20/2013 3:41:02 PM

@After 50 years of cooperation with Turkey, Israel never imagined the Turks would “shop” Israeli agents to Iran - The Other side of the coin is after Hundreds of year of Turkish /Ottoman help and support to Israelis & Jews - Turkey would have never imagined that Jews would in cold blood kill Turks, have no remorse, give the soldiers medals and gloat about the whole thing like a chip on your shoulder. Jews drew First Blood ! Turks did not kill Jews other than protect them for centuries. RIP

The Banker

10/20/2013 3:35:22 PM

How ironic that the Jews once begging the Ottomans for a piece of land & settlement in the middle east & during all the numerous holocausts allowed to take shelter only to Turkey, have seemed to forgotten those days so quickly and have shown very disrespect to a country and people who saved your lives and been looking after you since the 1400hundreds and in return you kill 9 Turks and then show no remorse, attack the government of the Turkey.D Jews have betrayed Turkey and The Turkish people!

Gabriel Ali Baba

10/20/2013 5:52:43 AM

Like selling allies agents (Turkey is in NATO, and US Allie), to Iran ??????????????? If this is his job then he is quite good at it.

Gabriel Ali Baba

10/20/2013 5:45:40 AM

According to one theory, Erdogan was settling a score with Israel for its commando raid on the Turkish Mavis Marmama which was leading the flotilla to Gaza with pro-Palestinian activists. It is well known Mr. Erdogan's temper and impulsive reaction to events which brought him at odds with all his neighbors and friends. After 50 years of cooperation with Turkey, Israel never imagined the Turks would “shop” Israeli agents to Iran, and of course most of them where Kurdish I am sure it made easier.

KıbrıslıTürk

10/19/2013 11:30:56 PM

Davutoğlu said "Fidan is not doing this work for his personal interests but for Turkey,” Mr Davutoğlu, can you please remind PM RT Erdogan he is working for Turkey but nit for himself. Also remind him no matter how hard he try he will never be close to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Ken Alden

10/19/2013 7:41:09 PM

The Erdogan-Perez fiasco in Davos,moderated by WP Assoc. Editor David Ignatius, one can't but to think that it was engeneered by him, witht he aim to derail Turkish-Israeli relationship, thus to denay Turkey the support of Israeli Lobby in blocking, then pending push by Armenian Diaspora, for U.S. Lawmakers to recognize the 1915 events as "Genocide. Now that there are sreneous attempts between the two foermer alies to patch-up that Rift;so what is on Mr. Ignatius agenda now, with the Spy story?

rich bind

10/19/2013 7:05:06 PM

It is clear that far from being a regional leader, Turkey is the regions trouble maker. At odds with Syria, Egypt, Israel, Iraq, Cyprus, Greece, Armenia, the list goes on & on. Israel did not cause Turkeys problems, but it is useful as an excuse for this governments short comings. Drumming up support for a war on Assad, supporting rebels in Iraq, trying to overthrow any government to gain leverage for the Muslim Brotherhood. Now hosting a counterterrorism forum while it host Hamas?
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