Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) will be focusing on more undercover operations abroad, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday.
Erdogan made the remarks during his speech at the inauguration of MIT’s new headquarters dubbed KALE (Castle) in the capital city of Ankara.
The facility has been described by the state-run news agency Anadolu as a building equipped with state of the art counter-espionage technology.
Erdogan praised MIT for its work on the probe into the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was slain in the Istanbul consulate of Saudi Arabia.
Erdogan also praised the organization for the ground operations in the Libyan civil war.
“Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization [MIT] is thoroughly fulfilling its duties in Libya,” Anadolu quoted Erdogan as saying.
After a NATO-backed uprising ousted Libya’s late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two groups have emerged, which are fighting for control of the North African country — the Tripoli-based UN-recognized Go
Turkey’s parliament last week passed a bill authorizing the government to deploy troops to Libya in support of GNA.
Subsequently, on Sunday Erdogan said Turkish troops were being deployed in Libya.
Following Erdogan’s remarks, Khaftar’s forces announced on Monday that they had taken control of the coastal city of Sirte.
Placed in the middle of Libya’s Mediterranean coast, GNA-aligned forces have held sway over the Sirte countryside since they repelled the Islamic State from the city with the backing of the U.S. in 2016.
LibyanReview Twitter account published a video on Monday showing LNA militants around a Turkish armored vehicle (KIRPI) reportedly left by GNA fighters as they fled Sirte.
— LibyaReview (@LibyaReview) January 6, 2020
General Khalifa Haftar declared a “holy war” against the Turkish intervention after Ankara’s move to send in troops to the country.
MIT has long operated on foreign soil. In 2018 it made international headlines when it abducted six Turkish nationals from Kosovo, whom the Turkish regime accuses of being terrorists as a result of their membership of the Gulen movement.
There have been other reported incidents of abductions in countries such as Kazakhstan.
The Turkish government blames the US-based Muslim cleric Fetullah Gulen and his followers for the failed July 2016 coup – an allegation he and his followers strongly deny.
Writing by Bunyamin Tekin, Editing by Giordano Stolley