Turkish intelligence, police join to deny rift allegations
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
MİT chief Hakan Fidan speaks to reporters at the agency’s headquarters. AA photoNational Intelligence Organization (MİT) and the Police Headquarters denied allegations of a rift between the two institutions in a joint press statement released in an unprecedented show of solidarity yesterday.
“Special care needs to be taken to observe the principle of informing the public truthfully, and to avoid wearing [the police and MİT] down in news stories about these two institutions, which jointly execute critical tasks in the struggle against terrorism,” the statement read, reported the Doğan news agency.
Police and MİT officials met yesterday morning to discuss recent media reports that claimed the existence of a rift between Hakan Fidan, the head of MİT, and Police Chief Mehmet Kılıçlar. The officials then decided to issue a joint press statement as a sign of cooperation between the two institutions, according to sources.
A specially authorized prosecutor called Fidan, his predecessor Emre Taner, MİT’s former deputy chief Afet Güneş, and two other agency officials to testify in connection with the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) probe on Feb. 8. The prosecutors had alleged that MİT had colluded with the KCK, the alleged urban wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and that its operatives had engaged in violence.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) then rushed a bill through Parliament in order to shield MİT’s chief, while the prosecutor who issued the summons has since been removed from his post. The unexpected affair, however, has led to speculation concerning a divide between MİT and the judiciary.
Heron general retires
Meanwhile, a general who presided over a unit in charge of evaluating footage obtained from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the Uludere incident retired amid speculation that the move may be connected to the botched air strike, daily Cumhuriyet reported yesterday. Brig. Gen. Salim Cüneyt Kavuncu presided over the General Staff Command and Control Department, which was in charge of evaluating Heron UAV footage taken during the Uludere strike that killed 34 civilians on Dec. 28.
Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz denied there was any link between the two incidents. “Kavuncu applied for retirement last November,” he said.