Turkey's mysterious National Intelligence Organization has emerged as an important component in Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s security policies. But some observers voice concern that the organization’s growing influence poses a potential threat to the country’s democratic system.
Known by its Turkish acronym, MİT, the National Intelligence Organization today stands as Turkey’s preeminent intelligence agency. Answerable by law only to the prime minister, it handles both foreign and domestic intelligence-gathering operations, enjoying a broad mandate.
Among its sanctioned targets, for instance, are perceived threats to “all elements” that make up “the constitutional order and national power.” Such vague wording potentially gives the MİT sweeping authority to investigate and conduct surveillance of government opponents, real or perceived.
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Justin Vela is a freelance reporter based in Istanbul.