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Hakan Fidan becomes next head of Turkish intelligence

19 April 2010, Monday /SÜLEYMAN KURT
Who the next undersecretary of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) will be is no longer a question of speculation. Dr. Hakan Fidan has received the approval of President Abdullah Gül and was appointed as the MİT’s deputy-undersecretary.

Following this, he is expected to succeed the current undersecretary, Emre Taner, who has been serving in his post for almost five years. Taner’s tenure was extended for another six months on Nov. 27, 2009.

The MİT’s new boss is 42 and was born in Ankara. He served in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) as a non-commissioned officer for 15 years between 1986 and 2001. During his tenure at the military, he also worked at NATO’s Germany-based Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC). He later resigned from the army and worked as a political and economic consultant at the Australian Embassy in Ankara. Having received an undergraduate degree in management and political sciences at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC), he earned a Master’s and a doctoral degree at Bilkent University in Ankara.

His MA dissertation was titled “Intelligence and Foreign Policy: A Comparison of British, American, and Turkish Intelligence Systems.” Fidan was awarded a doctorate with the thesis “The Role of Information Technologies in Verifying International Agreements in the Age of Information.” He also undertook a set of academic studies at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) in Geneva and at London’s Verification Technologies Research Center. He has also taught at Hacettepe and Bilkent Universities.

Fidan was later appointed as the head of the Turkish Development and Cooperation Agency (TİKA) where he drew much public attention with successful operations. He contributed to the efficient implementation of Turkish foreign policy with TİKA activities abroad. During his term at the agency, Turkey has become a donor state at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Fidan gained respect from the non-civilian members of the National Security Council (MGK) during a meeting in which he presented TİKA’s activities.

His last post before his new MİT career was at the Prime Ministry as a deputy-undersecretary. He made many little-publicized visits to various regions with the then-chief consultant to the prime minister on foreign policy Ahmet Davutoğlu. He accompanied the head of the government on all his visits abroad and meetings with leaders of other countries.

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