* Photo: Anadolu Agency (AA)
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President and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke at the opening ceremony of a new service building of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) in İstanbul yesterday (July 26).
“Turkish Intelligence Organization conducts works on areas of cryptology, cyber, satellite, and signal intelligence all around the world,” he said and added, “It is not coincidence that MIT is one of the first institutions targeted during the historic struggle our country is exerting for a while.”
Referring to the MİT’s contribution to operations in Turkey and abroad, President Erdoğan also stated, “The number of countries that ask for our help to recover their kidnapped citizens continue to increase. That an Italian citizen was recently rescued from terrorists in Somalia once again showed our country’s power and enhanced its prestige.”
‘Thanks to our accomplishments in intelligence…’
Within this context, Erdoğan commented on “Turkey’s achievements” in conflict zones, especially in Syria and Libya: “Our achievements in conflict zones enable our country to have a more powerful place at the table in diplomacy and to more effectively defend our national interests.
“The MİT has duly fulfilled its tasks such as clearing the Syrian border of terrorists, establishing safe zones, ensuring the safety of people forced to migrate, supporting the military in operation areas.
“MIT’s intelligence and operational support has been a game-changer in stopping the advance of putschist Khalifa Haftar, who adopted military ways instead of political solution, in Libya.
“Thanks to our widening area of influence in foreign intelligence, our country has begun to take its place on all platforms as a regional and global power.
“The National Intelligence Organization immediately intensifies its activities wherever Turkey’s interests requires a position to be taken. Thanks to our accomplishments in intelligence diplomacy, we can conduct our other works in a more powerful and determined manner.”
‘It has been centuries since 1453, but…’
Erdoğan also made the following remarks about Hagia Sophia, which has been reopened as a mosque following Friday prayers on July 24:
“Every step we take here, every activity attracts the attention of the entire world. As a global point of transit and trade, İstanbul has always had a strategic importance. Today, the city maintains its appeal.
“Like every great civilization and state, our ancestors dreamed of conquering İstanbul and endeavored greatly to this end. The honor to realize our ancestors’ dream was granted to Mehmed the Conqueror.
“We see that even though it has been centuries since the conquest, the fact that Istanbul belongs to the Turkish nation and Muslims still cannot be accepted. During the process of reopening Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque for worship, we once again witnessed that there are people who find it hard to digest İstanbul’s identity as a Turkish territory since 1453.
“Our goal is to make İstanbul one of the top financial, commercial, medical, educational and cultural centers in the world.
“One aspect of this vision is to make Istanbul one of the safest cities in the world. In order to achieve that, great responsibilities fall on our security bodies as well as our intelligence organization.”
* Source: Official website of the Presidency