President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken oath of office in parliament and announced the new cabinet. When Erdogan read the speech during the swearing-in ceremony, Green Left Party (YSP) and Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputies did not stand up in protest against Erdogan. Some of the names in the new cabinet have been the focus of press attention. One of them is the new foreign minister, Hakan Fidan.
Hakan Fidan, who led the National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) since 2010 and is referred to by Erdogan as his “secret keeper”, becomes foreign minister. Hakan Fidan made history as the first official to be appointed head of Turkish diplomacy after serving as head of MIT. Fidan served as MIT chief behind closed doors during many processes, from the Solution Process with the PKK to the July 15 coup attempt. There is not much information about the biography of the new foreign minister other than what is written on the website of the MIT directorate. Fidan, whose career has taken him from sergeant to academician, from bureaucratic positions to the head of the MIT and then to the Foreign Ministry, has also been influential in the increasing Turkish interventions in Syria and Iraq.
Fidan also played a role in the process of re-establishing dialogue with many countries with which Turkey had strained relations, and was involved in the first step of normalizing relations with countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel, which always proceeded through MIT. The normalization process with Syria, in which Hakan Fidan is personally involved, is one of them as well. Fidan and Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar initiated negotiations with Syria in Russia in the last days of last year.
In the past, Israel considered Hakan Fidan a suspect due to his friendly ties with Iran. In early 2020, the Israeli newspaper Makor Rishon even wrote that the MIT chief’s fate could be the same as that of Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian special forces general killed in a US strike in Baghdad. On the other hand, the Wall Street Journal wrote that the US feared that Fidan was arming jihadists, including ISIS, in Syria. It remains to be seen how Hakan Fidan, whose name is often mentioned behind the scenes in international negotiations, will behave in his new role. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal wrote that the US feared that Fidan was arming jihadists, including ISIS, in Syria. It remains to be seen how Hakan Fidan, whose name is often mentioned behind the scenes of international negotiations, will act in his new role.