Turkish army chief Gen Özel orders ‘investigation’ into leak of top secret meeting
Deniz Zeyrek ANKARA / Hürriyet
The incident has so far not been regarded as a military espionage case but rather as part of the leaks that took place after the Dec. 17, 2013, corruption operation. AA PhotoChief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel has ordered technical intelligence experts to start an examination into the leak of an illegal recording of a meeting between Turkey’s top security officials, including Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler.
Özel drew attention to the leak of the audio files, which revealed a top-secret conversation between Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu, National Intelligence Organization (MİT) head Hakan Fidan and Güler, on the grounds that the subject of the meeting was closely related to the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).
Experts in the army have submitted their opinions on how the leak took place and whether the incident could be regarded as a military espionage case against the headquarters, according to sources. The incident has so far not been regarded as a military espionage case but rather as part of the leaks that took place after the Dec. 17, 2013, corruption operation.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry will discuss the leaked meeting this week. Taking high security measures in the ministry similar to the ones used by the U.S. Department of State will also be discussed. One of the measures slated to come into effect is to ban mobile phones belonging to ministry personnel from the building. The meetings in the ministry will be classified according to the degree of their security and measures will also be taken accordingly, according to a senior foreign ministry official.
The officials said they were examining the possibility that the recording was made using a bug placed in the room by a member of staff and then removed. But another option is that the leak was done via a phone in the room which was installed as software beforehand and activated during the meeting from a remote area.
The quality of the leaked voice recording has led inspectors to suggest a high-technology microphone is used. It is known that Özel does not take his phone into such significant meetings and that MİT is also known to be sensitive about the issue. Davutoğlu and Sinirlioğlu’s stance on bringing their phones to such meetings is not known.
During the meeting, the quartet were heard discussing possible false-flag attacks on Turkish targets in order to drag Ankara into the war on Syria.