In the Milli Istihbarat Teşkilatı (MIT), Turkey’s national intelligence service, this has meant the establishment of six new undersecretariats, each appointed by Erdogan. Reorganization is not the problem. Certainly, Erdogan has a right to be concerned by the MIT’s failures on July 15. Turkish columnist Pinar Tremblay details more, here.
The most significant change, however, is what Tremblay calls “special operations.” This new unit has been discussed openly in the Turkish press. This signals not only continued Turkish covert operations in Syria and Iraq but, according to Turkish sources, in Europe and the United States as well. Indeed, what Tremblay does not discuss is that one of the reasons for the new special operations undersecretariat has been Erdogan’s frustration at push-back from MIT veterans about his plans to be more active in the United States. The MIT veterans argue—correctly—that Erdogan risks their long-term relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency by running operations in the United States. Rather than heed their advice, Erdogan’s response has just been to transfer, reorganize, and purge in order to put political loyalists in place.
The first question then becomes, what sort of operations is Erdogan planning to run–or already running–in the United States?