Soldier, Academician, Spy Chief And Now Turkish Minister Of Foreign Affairs – OpEd


A notable development has caught our attention in recent times. Hakan Fidan, who served as the head of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) for for the last 13 years, was appointed as Turkey’s new Minister of Foreign Affairs earlier this year. Fidan’s background is quite intriguing, marked by significant achievements in his career. As an individual with a bachelor’s degree from  U.S. Maryland University and a Ph.D. in international relations from Bilkent University, this appointment may signify a forerunner of a change in Turkish foreign policy.

As Hakan Fidan takes on his role as Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, he displays remarkable care in his relations with the media. During press conferences, he often reads well prepared written statements, and his English is fluent and easily understood. His performance at NATO meetings, including delivering his statements, demonstrates his capability as a capable experienced multilingual diplomat.

Hakan Fidan’s choice of attire also attracts attention. He consistently opts for black suits, and his jacket buttons are generally fastened. His posture is always upright and resolute, indicating that he carefully observes his surroundings not only during press conferences but also in daily interactions. He does not give private interviews to the press, and there is not much information available about his private life.

One significant move during his tenure is initiating a structural reform focusing on specialization in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This has long been deemed necessary. For instance, a diplomat heading to Kazakhstan should know the Kazakh language, and one being assigned to Nigeria should have a doctorate in African history and culture. Specialization and merit should be considered in recruitment and appointments in foreign affairs.

Leaders with a background in intelligence have historically been influential in state governance. Putin was a former KGB employee, and George H. W. Bush served as the head of the CIA. Henry Kissinger operated based on intelligence information in his decision-making processes. Hakan Fidan’s past as the head of MIT and his current role as Minister of Foreign Affairs may lead to speculations about similar scenarios unfolding in Turkey in the coming years. This situation serves as a significant example of how experiences in the intelligence field can play an effective role in politics.

Haluk Direskeneli

Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP, Entergy), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *