New vision for National Intelligence Organization in Turkey

The National Intelligence Organization (MİT) has entered a period of comprehensive restructuring in Turkey.

New vision for National Intelligence Organization in Turkey
In a bid to rid itself of an antiquated structure dating from the Cold War era, MİT will place greater importance on external intelligence rather than internal intelligence and will employ people who can speak English, Georgian, Armenian, Arabic, Persian, Bulgarian, Russian, Greek and other dialects of Turkish. The current rate of female employees within the organization, 18 percent, will be increased to 50 percent.
MİT Undersecretary Emre Taner had signaled a change in the structure of the organization in a written statement issued on Jan. 6, 2007, for the organization's 80th anniversary. Supported also by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government, MİT is now ready to take steps toward its brand new composition after a year of preparations and planning.

The plans include measures that will change the organizational scheme of MİT and its work culture. The first step has been the replacement of all the old equipment used by the organization with hi-tech equivalents. The changes designed to make MİT more powerful, dynamic, active, efficient and flexible had become inevitable, particularly in recent years given Turkey's ever-increasing strategic importance.

MİT staff getting younger, more educated

MİT has offered many eligibility examinations in recent years to bring more educated young employees onboard. Previously, the minimum education requirement for a MİT employee was a high school diploma. Now this has changed, and only university graduates are qualified to become intelligence officers. With the recently employed officers having the higher educational requirement, the organization's rate of university graduates has increased to 68 percent, while 29 percent of employees are high school graduates, and primary school graduates account for only 2.2 percent. While primary school graduates have been moved to positions in support services, the high school graduates have also been moved to less important positions.

Following this alteration in personnel, the average age in the organization has also shifted. The rate of employees between the ages of 23 and 25 has increased to 4.6 percent; those between 26 and 35 have increased to 38.2 percent, and staff between 36 and 45 now make up 37.7 percent of the total. Meanwhile, employees between the ages of 46 and 55 have decreased to 18 percent, while those between 56 and 65 have shrunk to 1.4 percent. These figures indicate that the intelligence organization is becoming both younger and more educated.

Number of women to increase

As part of the new plan, the number of female MİT employees will be increased. Females currently make up 18 percent of employees, and the work to increase this percentage is ongoing. A male-centered organization since its foundation, MİT has appointed a female intelligence officer to one of its most critical posts to encourage more women to become intelligence officers. MİT also needs female analysts to work on site.

The new Strategic Research Center team of the organization has been formed with only university graduates. Focusing on the issue of national threats, the team will determine the organization's vision by bringing together the views of analysts. A new think tank has also been created to this end. The organization will be launching coordination projects with other countries' intelligence services in order to exchange real-time information. The restructuring also includes endowing regional heads with greater authority.

Of all the steps to be taken within the context of the modifications, probably the most important is pulling down the psychological as well as physical barriers between MİT and the public. MİT headquarters in Ankara's Yenimahalle district and other MİT buildings elsewhere are considered places of mystery by the public. Additionally, the practice of keeping the agents together as much as possible by providing them with housing will be stopped. The MİT apartments will be handed over to the Treasury, and the MİT staff will start living in ordinary neighborhoods. However, they will continue to conceal their identities in line with their work, receiving assistance with this from the state.

Today's Zaman

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Aralık 2007, 09:43