Codes of messages on 97th anniversary of MIT’s establishment
To understand how Türkiye sees the world’s dangerous trends, it is crucial to go over the statements made at the National Intelligence Organization’s (MIT) 97th anniversary event.
Here’s the summary:
Türkiye demonstrates the will to take its security policy to a new level in the age of “global uncertainty and asymmetrical and hybrid threats.”
Speaking at the event, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan highlighted the importance of being at the heart of the global power struggle and growing uncertainty in the international system, underscoring Türkiye’s emergence as an “influential power” within the framework of its national interest.
Anticipating new risks and crises, Erdoğan notably recalled Türkiye’s active role in Syria, Iraq, Karabakh, Libya, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Again, the Turkish leader acknowledged the meaninglessness of the “axis shift” debate to note that the country had achieved strategic autonomy.
Erdoğan described that approach, which was a main theme of his 2023 election manifesto, as “making decisions related to domestic politics and foreign policy along the Türkiye axis.” It is that perspective that accounts for Türkiye’s ability to develop the right policies by becoming aware of growing uncertainty and future crises in the world. Again, that approach covers a broad range of issues from reassessing bilateral relations and alliances to bolstering the capacity of national institutions in line with Türkiye’s needs and interests.
The security establishment’s ability to cooperate and operate in a coordinated manner under Erdoğan’s leadership has been the driving force behind Ankara’s successful use of hard power. That is how MIT became more “civilian” to operate more effectively as its previous head, Hakan Fidan, had overhauled its jurisdiction, capabilities and capacity since 2010.
President Erdoğan’s identification of terrorism and espionage, irregular migration, radicalization, organized crime, xenophobia and Islamophobia as emerging threats was particularly noteworthy. At the same time, he delivered a striking message to foreign governments with a specific focus on Israel: Do not even think of operating in Türkiye.
New era in public diplomacy
The ceremony, which marked the 97th anniversary of MIT’s establishment, marked the beginning of a new chapter from the standpoint of public diplomacy. The MIT Museum’s opening, the publication of a report on far-right movements in the West, the decision to make public select pieces from the MIT archive and the MIT Academy’s establishment support that conclusion.
The address of MIT Director Ibrahim Kalın, with whom I had the pleasure of working with during his tenure as acting chair of the Presidential Security and Foreign Policy Board, offered insights into the agency’s strategic projections and its director’s strategic mindset.
Stressing the need to “constantly develop new capabilities” to prepare for the age of “global uncertainty and hybrid threats,” Kalın made a comprehensive strategic assessment regarding the international community’s current course.
It would be impossible to cover all parts of that speech here, but some key points were as follows:
– Multidimensional and multipolar thinking is a requirement of this age.
– The various structures that will establish and sustain new power centers and alliances against the U.S.-led unipolar order have not yet emerged. That, in turn, gives rise to a plural and fragmented structure in the world.
– The confrontation between Russia and the West, which continues to unfold in Ukraine, does not eliminate the inevitable clash between China and the West but merely delays it. If the necessary precautions are not taken in due time, that conflict will severely affect the global political and economic system.
– The following principle, which Imam Ghazali formulated a millennium ago, remains relevant today: Whoever crosses the line turns into their opposite. Every single power, player and policy that extends beyond its natural limits to infringe on the rights of others has already begun to prepare its own end.
– Ethnocentrism is not and should not be the alternative to Western-centric notions.
– Regardless of their direction and level of depth, all future quests for a global order will have a transformative impact on existing alliances and cooperation models. Active and principled players, who do not refrain from assuming responsibility during this process, will play a defining role.
P.S.: I offer my heartfelt congratulations to professor Talha Köse who was appointed as president of the National Intelligence Academy.