The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

Turkey and Iran said to be sharing intel from drones

Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman August 18 – Column by Emre Uslu: “MIT Betrays CIA; Deceived by SAVAK”

As terror escalates in Turkey, the same issue keeps being raised as part of discussions following every attack: incompetence in intelligence. Consequently, intelligence agencies leak reports after attacks to prove that intelligence was not deficient. This has been particularly noticeable in the most recent Semdinli incident.

It is evident that PKK militants transported heavy weaponry to the city, deployed logistical equipment in the area and prepared for a major battle. It is also now known that 200 PKK militants infiltrated Semdinli. However, intelligence services and units did not become aware of this activity until statements were made by two PKK militants who turned themselves in on July 2. Warnings were issued accordingly and proper measures taken; but it is an unforgivable failing on the part of intelligence agencies that they obtained this information as a result of chance only.

There are various reasons for a weakness in intelligence, including a lack of competent staff and inadequate number of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – for which the primary reason is deteriorated relations with Israel. Due to tense relations, Turkey is unable to buy UAVs from the US and to receive Israeli-made drones. Up until last week, this was the most convincing argument as to why the Americans would not sell drones to Turkey.

However, last week a different reason became clear: In a press statement, Deputy Prime Minister Bulenc Arinc announced that the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) was sharing intelligence with Iran. This provided the answer the Americans have been looking for. American intelligence units have been suspicious that Turkey is sharing information received from American Predator drones with Iran. The US has made it clear that they would be uncomfortable with such an arrangement.

The Israeli lobby has raised a campaign in Washington pushing for recognition that Turkey has been sharing intelligence received through American technology with Iran, and stressing that the US should no longer sell Predator drones to Turkey.

As of last week, Washington is sure that the Turkish intelligence organization has shared information and intelligence with Iran, and that this intelligence was obtained through the American Predators.

At a time when the Americans are very careful not to have any sort of relations with Iran, including sharing intelligence and commercial activities, Turkey’s decision to share intelligence obtained as a result of American technology with Iran may be an unforgivable sin in the intelligence world. For this reason, things are now worse for Turkey.

MIT is well aware of this, and so, following the remarks made by Arinc, it made a statement in an attempt to fix the problem. Much of the media missed the point, but a recent report in the Turkiye daily titled “SAVAK betrayed MIT” is a pretty important one. The report reads: “The bilateral relations between Turkey and Iran, which deteriorated after statements by Iranian authorities against Turkey over its Syrian policy, have affected the intelligence units of both countries. MIT and the Iranian Organization of Intelligence and National Security (SAVAK) have minimized relations.”

This report means: When Arinc exposed the relationship between MIT and SAVAK, the MIT attempted…


Written by nickbiddlenoe

August 21, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


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