Articles recently published in the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post described the United States unease over Turkey's Syria policy and cited Hakan Fidan as the secondary figure after Prime Minister Erdogan, the chief architect of that policy.
The debate particularly turned to Turkish-Israeli relations after a piece by David Ignatius, in which Turkey's role in the new balance being established in the region was discussed. In Mr. Ignatius' opinion, Mr. Fidan had given Iranian intelligence the names of 10 Iranian agents working for Mossad. The only statement made in support of these allegations concerned Hakan Fidan's friendly Iranian policy. In addition, Mr. Fidan was accused of providing weapons to jihadists supported by al-Qaeda in Syria. There is no official statement to corroborate this disinformation.
It should also be noted that Israel attaches great importance to friendship with Turkey. Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor has publicly denied that they are the source of the reports about Mr. Fidan. Mr. Palmor made the point clear by saying that the allegations made by Mr. Ignatius regarding Mr. Fidan did not originate from Israel and most definitely did not serve Israeli interests. The Obama administration attached no importance to these groundless claims that various neoconservative analysts have loudly expressed. The fact that this scheme was intended to threaten Obama regarding US policies on Iran and Turkey is another point that should not escape notice.
What is more, the question of how is it that Mr. Fidan, accused of being pro-Iranian, should have provided backing for supporters of al-Qaida represents a major inconsistency; above all else, Turkey is on the side of the West against the Assad regime in Syria.
Syria is known to be behind the many acts of terror on Turkey's 900-kilometer Syrian border. Fourteen Turkish citizens died in a bomb attack carried out by Assad supporters at the Cilvegözü border crossing post in Hatay. Fifty-two Turkish citizens died in another bomb attack in the Hatay district of Reyhanlı. Turkey is therefore against Iran, which provides support of all kinds for Assad, at this time.
There are also well-known problems with Iran on the subject of the PKK terror organization. On the other hand, MIT, the Turkish Intelligence Agency, has exposed the fact that Iranian-based agents have bugged various official institutions.
As for the al-Qaida claims, PM Erdoğan issued a statement the other day in which he explicitly declared al-Qaida to be a terrorist organization. The Turkish General Staff bombed al-Qaida positions in Syria the other day. This campaign by Turkey against pro-al-Qaida organizations on its own territory -- and in Syria -- has been highly regarded in the international arena.
Turkey is one of the greatest mainstays in the region for the security of both the West and the East. For that reason, even though the existing problems between them have not been completely resolved, Israel and Turkey are not -- and will not be -- enemies. It is impossible for Turkey to adopt any policy against Israeli citizens or Syrians or Egyptians in its foreign policy. This region needs sound friendships, not new animosities.
Today, when policies of hatred, war and terror dominate several regions of the world, the intelligence agencies of the great powers have extraordinary responsibilities. Looking at the regions bordering Turkey, many human rights violations are known to be taking place in the Caucasus-Central Asian and MENA region; democracy has been suspended in a number of countries and organizations that threaten the world with violence are based in these regions.
MIT works rationally and constructively and with enormous self-sacrifice against both internal and external threats. MIT collaborates extensively with the West, and operates against those radical groups that threaten the world, particularly Europe and the U.S. With this policy, Turkey has attained the position of being an indispensable intermediary, partner and model country for the West. Hakan Fidan, brought in to head MIT, has made a huge contribution to the MIT policy with his pro-Western line, 15 years of military experience and the knowledge and intelligence experience acquired during his postings abroad. Mr. Fidan and his team are not separate from the state and always acts in consultation with Turkey's leadership.
Turkey has always particularly opposed extremist organizations hostile to Christians and Jews in the region. Radical groups are not only hostile to the West; they also do all they can to spread sectarian conflict to the MENA region. Al-Qaida and similar groups have several times attempted to draw Turkey into this vortex. The reason why these radical groups that carry out sporadic terror attacks in Turkey have been unable to settle permanently here is that they enjoy no support here, and furthermore, MIT allows them no room to operate.
On the other hand, as a NATO member, Turkey has always operated alongside the U.S. in its operations, particularly regarding Iraq, Libya and Syria. Turkey also fought alongside the U.S. in Korea. Also, as a country that acts constructively and builds democracy in the Middle East, Turkey's increasing strength may have alarmed certain circles; nonetheless, Turkey's increasingly important position in the region is one that the US should be delighted with. Turkey is now a powerful democratic and secular state of law: It is perhaps the only Muslim country to apply secularism. It is also the leading Muslim country in which women, members of different faiths, atheists and socialists all enjoy freedom of ideas and live together as one.
In fact, the contribution of Hakan Fidan and his team to these developments have further confirmed Turkey's power in the region and are exceedingly important in terms of regional security and strategy. With its leadership position, Turkey will also allow Israel to enjoy the benefits of peace and security in the region. Turkey exports love instead of hatred, union instead of division and reconciliation instead of enmity to the region and in this way, it will continue to maintain its place in the region.