Turkey’s intel agency to have NSA-like body

Turkey’s intel agency to have NSA-like body

Fevzi Kızılkoyun ANKARA
Turkey’s intel agency to have NSA-like body

The NSA and the CIA in the United States have been taken as examples in restructuring Turkey’s largest military eavesdropping base. AP Photo

Turkey’s largest military eavesdropping base, which is run under the country’s national intelligence agency, has been named the Signal Intelligence Directorate (SİB), in efforts to remodel the agency, inspired by the functioning of the NSA and the CIA in the United States.

The National Intelligence Organization (MİT) took over facilities of the General Staff Electronic Systems Command (GES) 20 kilometers south of Ankara, in the Gölbaşı district, from the General Staff on Jan. 1, 2012.

Restructuring the intelligence agency has already begun, despite Parliament still debating a bill expanding the agency’s powers to additional missions, both inside and outside the country. Known as the MİT Law, the proposal was withdrawn in February after President Abdullah Gül demanded major changes to the proposed text.

The Undersecretary for the MİT will employ intelligence officers, science and technology experts, Arabic-language linguists and technicians, with most working at the SİB, which will serve as the eavesdropping base.

With such internal reorganization, in addition to use of spies on ground, the MİT will also focus on cyber-security and the technical intelligence of signaling and eavesdropping.

The MİT will accept applications for those positions through its official website.

“If you want to improve your education level or expertise with an extraordinary career and want to undertake responsibility in managing global threats and opportunities in favor of our country, then leaving curriculum vitae to the Undersecretary for the MİT will be the right choice,” the MİT said in its announcement for employment.

The MİT has been seeking employing experts on signal analysis and its applications, developing mobile applications, crypto and crypto analysis, network administration, cyber activities, satellite communication, data base administration, geographic information systems, informatics security, Internet technologies, image analysis, data mining, mechanical system design and developing communication programs, etc.

Earlier this year, Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay revealed that the MİT eavesdrops on more than two thousand people, mostly foreigners.

“As of today, the MİT eavesdrops on 2,473 people. More than half of them are foreigners,” Atalay said in late February.

At the time, he also noted espionage, which currently requires an individual court order for each target, was primarily used to uncover suspected “terrorists.”