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Turkey: National Intelligence Organization

Millî İstihbarat Teşkilatı - MIT

Last modified: 2016-01-31 by ivan sache
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Flag of the National Intelligence Organization, two versions - Images by Tomislav Šipek, 29 June 2015

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Presentation of the National Intelligence Organization

The National Intelligence Organization (Millî İstihbarat Teşkilatı - MİT; website) is the governmental intelligence organization of Turkey (Wikipedia). It was established on 22 July 1965 by Law No. 644 to replace the National Security Service (Millî Emniyet Hizmeti - MEH, but known as MAH) (Wikipedia).
The National Security Service, established on 6 January 1926, also derives its existence from the inception of Special Organization (Teşkilât-ı Mahsusa) on 17 November 1913. Many members of this organization who had played particular roles in the Armenian Genocide also participated in the Turkish national movement. The Special Organization assisted by government and Army officials, deported all Greek men of military age to labor brigades beginning in summer 1914 and lasting through 1916. They also carried out military and paramilitary activities before being disbanded due to the Armistice of Mudros (Wikipedia) of 30 October 1918 which effectively ended all hostilities between the Allies and the Ottoman Empire, just a few days before the formal end of the First World War the next month.
In summary the Ottomans surrendered their remaining garrisons outside Anatolia, as well as granted the Allies the right to occupy forts controlling the Straits of the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus and the right to occupy "in case of disorder" any Ottoman territory in case of a threat to security. The Ottoman Army including Ottoman airforce was demobilized, and all ports, railways, and other strategic points were made available for use by the Allies.

The organization was dismantled following a parliamentary debate and replaced by the Worldwide Islamic Revolt (Umûm Âlem-i İslâm İhtilâl Teşkilâtı) after the First World War. This organization held its first meeting in Berlin. However, it was forced underground by the British, who refused to let these German allies operate. After the 1918 Armistice of Mudros, Ottoman officers founded several secret organizations in Istanbul. The aim of these organizations was to provide the Turkish nationalist revolution against the occupying Allied forces (and the collaborationist Ottoman monarchist government) with loyal officers, weapons, and armaments, most of which was stolen from Ottoman Army warehouses (also under the control of Allied forces during the occupation).
In late 1918 the Karakol Society (Karakol Cemiyeti, Karakol meaning "Black Arm"; Wikipedia) (or Police Guild), also known as the Sentinel Association, was a secret society within the Istanbul government of the Ottoman Empire during the Allied Occupation of Istanbul, whose purpose was to assist the efforts of Mustafa Kemal "Atatürk" and his republican nationalist forces (Turkish National Movement, Türk Ulusal Hareketi) from within the Allied-controlled government during the 1919-1923 Turkish War of Independence. When Istanbul was occupied on 16 March 1920, this organization came to an end due to the arrest of all its members.
After the dissolution of the Karakol Society, various intelligence groups were formed such as Zabitan, Yavuz and Hamza Grubu (Hamza Group, established on 23 September 1920), the latter one changing its name to Felah Grubu (Felah Group) on 31 August 1921.

In 1921, Atatürk founded another secret organization called the National Defense Society (Müdafaa-i Milliye Cemiyeti). The Military Police Organization ( Askerî Polis Teşkilati, known as A.P. or P.) was founded by the General Staff on 18 July 1920 with the aim of putting an end to the chaos of the many intelligence organizations that existed, but was dissolved on 21 March 1921. Then the Inspection Board Directorates (Tetkik Heyeti Âmirlikleri) emerged and lasted from 1 April 1921 until 22 June 1922 when they were disbanded. Parallel to this, the Armed National Defense (Müsellâh Müdâfaa-i Milliye) was created by the Chief of General Staff on 3 May 1921. Approved by the Government of the Grand National Assembly, it was called "MM" or MIM.
While the Inspection Board Directorates carried out activities in Anatolia, the Armed National Defense established a network of spies and cadres of military and civilian officers in Istanbul and collaborated with the Turkish National Movement until the liberation of Istanbul on 5 October 1923 when it was dissolved. From 1923 until 1926 which followed the dissolution of all the intelligence organizations previously established, the intelligence activities were carried out by the Intelligence Branches of the Army Inspectorships.

Esteban Rivera, 30 June 2015

Flag of the National Intelligence Organization

The flag of the National Intelligence Organization is white (photo, photo) or red (photo) with the organization's emblem (image) in the middle.

Tomislav Šipek & Esteban Rivera, 29 June 2015