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Hakan Fidan

Hakan Fidan
Fidan in March 2024
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Assumed office
4 June 2023
PresidentRecep Tayyip Erdoğan
Preceded byMevlüt Çavuşoğlu
Director of the National Intelligence Organization
In office
9 March 2015 – 4 June 2023
PresidentRecep Tayyip Erdoğan
Prime MinisterAhmet Davutoğlu
Binali Yıldırım
Preceded byİsmail Hakkı Musa
Succeeded byİbrahim Kalın
In office
25 May 2010 – 10 February 2015
PresidentAbdullah Gül
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Prime MinisterRecep Tayyip Erdoğan
Ahmet Davutoğlu
Preceded byEmre Taner
Succeeded byİsmail Hakkı Musa
Personal details
Born (1968-07-17) 17 July 1968 (age 55)
Ankara, Turkey
SpouseNuran Fidan
OccupationIntelligence officer and diplomat

Hakan Fidan (born on 17 July 1968) is a Turkish politician currently serving as the Minister of Foreign Affairs since June 2023. He was previously the director of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) from March 2010 until June 2023.[1]

Fidan is seen as a possible successor to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as the leader of the Justice and Development Party and the President of Turkey.[2]

Early life and education

Fidan was born to a Kurdish father from Varto and a Turkish mother from Denizli.[3] He belongs to the Kurdish Hesenan tribe.[4] He earned a degree in management and political science from the University of Maryland Global Campus and later completed his master's and doctorate at Bilkent University.

Military and early career

From 1986 to 2001, he served as a non-commissioned officer in the Turkish Land Forces and was part of the NATO-unit Allied Rapid Reaction Corps in Germany.[5] Fidan directed the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) from 2003 to 2007, focusing on development projects in Turkic and African countries.[6] He also served as an assistant secretary in the prime ministry and as a security advisor for Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.[7] Internationally, he held board positions at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)[8] and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).[9]

Intelligence career

Fidan led the National Intelligence Organization from May 2010 to February 2015, when he briefly resigned to pursue a parliamentary seat for his party.[10][11] After withdrawing his candidacy, he was reappointed to his intelligence position within hours.[12]

Foreign relations

Fidan was instrumental in formulating Turkey's regional strategy of providing active support for Syrian rebels engaged in combat against the regime of Bashar al-Assad.[13] His tenure saw a shift from a security cooperation with Israel and the United States towards one with Iran[14] most notably Qasem Soleimani, the leader of the Al Quds division.[7] During the 2016 Turkish coup attempt, Fidan played a crucial role in assisting Erdogan to suppress the coup.[13] During the Munich Security Conference[15] in February 2017, he delivered a list of 300 alleged supporters of the Gülen Movement to Bruno Kahl, president of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) in apparent expectation of cooperation during the political purges in Turkey following the failed coup attempt in July 2016.[16] But the list much more lead the German authorities to warn the observed people from the Turkish intelligence service activities.[15] In September 2022, he visited Hamis Hancer of the Sunni bloc in the Iraqi Parliament in Baghdad and also met with the Iraqi President Baram Salih.[17]


Fidan was involved in secret peace talks with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) for which in 2012 a state prosecutor wanted to investigate him.[18] Recep Tayyip Erdoğan intervened on behalf of Fidan[18] and he was later delegated to hold talks with Abdullah Öcalan and arranged the secret black marketing of Iran through Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's government.[8][19]

Political career

Fidan and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the NATO Summit in Vilnius, 11 July 2023
Fidan with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Ankara, Turkey, 6 November 2023

On 4 June 2023, Fidan assumed office as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the 67th cabinet of Turkey under president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.[20] On 31 August 2023, he visited Moscow and met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. They discussed the Black Sea Grain Initiative.[21]

In September 2023, Azerbaijan launched a large-scale military offensive against the self-declared breakaway state of Artsakh, a move seen as a violation of the 2020 ceasefire agreement.[22] Fidan offered diplomatic support to Azerbaijan, stating that their military operation was "justified" and that "Azerbaijan has taken the measures it deems necessary on its own sovereign territory."[23]

On 25 October 2023, Fidan warned that an Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza Strip could turn into a massacre, saying that those supporting Israel's actions are "accomplices to its crimes."[24]


  1. ^ Today's Zaman, 19 April 2010, Hakan Fidan becomes next head of Turkish intelligence Archived 2013-10-31 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Three figures stand out for AKP leadership in post-Erdoğan period, says journo". 5 September 2023. Retrieved 3 November 2023.
  3. ^ Akin, Ezgi (4 June 2023). "Who is Hakan Fidan, Turkey's new foreign minister with spy powers?". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 6 June 2023. [...] Fidan, whose father is an ethnic Kurd [...]
  4. ^ "İlk kez duyacaksınız! Hakan Fidan'ın aşiretinin 2. Abdülhamid ile bağlantısı ve Osmanlı paşası akrabaları". Retrieved 2 May 2024.
  5. ^ "Türkiye's top intelligence chief Fidan becomes foreign minister". Daily Sabah. 3 June 2023. Archived from the original on 3 June 2023. Retrieved 4 June 2023.
  6. ^ "Hakan Fidan slated to be next head of Turkish intelligence". Dünya. 19 April 2010. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
  7. ^ a b Peters, Dominik; Popp, Maximilian; Sydow, Christoph (11 November 2018). "Jamal Khashoggi: Der Mann, der alles über Khashoggis Sterben weiß". Der Spiegel (in German). ISSN 2195-1349. Archived from the original on 11 October 2022. Retrieved 11 October 2022.
  8. ^ a b "Turkey's 'secret-keeper'". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 28 June 2023.
  9. ^ "Hakan Fidan kimdir? Özgeçmişinde neler var? İşte engenç MİT Başkanı'nın özgeçmişi". Vatan (in Turkish). 11 February 2012. Archived from the original on 19 December 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
  10. ^ "Turkish spymaster Fidan quits to contest parliamentary election: sources". Reuters. 7 February 2015. Archived from the original on 2 January 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  11. ^ "Turkish intelligence chief quits post to run in general elections". France 24. 7 February 2015. Archived from the original on 11 October 2022. Retrieved 11 October 2022.
  12. ^ "Turkey's former intel chief withdraws decision to run for parliament, returns to MİT". Hürriyet Daily News. 9 March 2015. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  13. ^ a b Parkinson, Joe; Hinshaw, Drew; Marson, James; Viswanatha, Aruna (19 December 2023). "A Secluded Runway, a Turkish Spymaster and No Guns: the New World of Hostage Exchanges". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 20 December 2023.
  14. ^ "Turkey revealed Israeli spy ring to Iran-report". Reuters. 17 October 2013. Archived from the original on 11 October 2022. Retrieved 11 October 2022.
  15. ^ a b Mascolo, Georg (28 March 2017). "Der Irrtum des türkischen Top-Spions". Der Bund (in German). Archived from the original on 10 October 2022. Retrieved 10 October 2022.
  16. ^ "Bespitzelung von Gülen-Anhängern: Türkische Spionage ist ein Fall für die Justiz". Der Tagesspiegel Online (in German). ISSN 1865-2263. Archived from the original on 10 October 2022. Retrieved 10 October 2022.
  17. ^ "Second visit by Türkiye's intelligence chief in a month raises question marks in Iraq". Bianet. 7 October 2022. Archived from the original on 7 October 2022. Retrieved 10 October 2022.
  18. ^ a b Szymanski, Mike (31 March 2017). "Hakan Fidan - Erdoğans Mann für Geheimnisse". Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German). Archived from the original on 10 October 2022. Retrieved 10 October 2022.
  19. ^ "Investigation of Turkish Intelligence head won't proceed, says prosecutor - Türkiye News". Hürriyet Daily News. 22 March 2013. Archived from the original on 11 May 2023. Retrieved 11 May 2023.
  20. ^ "Presidency Of The Republic Of Turkey : Presidential Cabinet". Retrieved 12 August 2023.
  21. ^ "Turkish Foreign Minister Stresses Importance Of Reviving Grain Deal In Meeting With Lavrov". adio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 31 August 2023.
  22. ^ "Joint statement on Azerbaijan's attack on Nagorno-Karabakh". European Parliament. Archived from the original on 22 September 2023.
  23. ^ "Turkey Says Azerbaijan Addressing 'Justified' Concerns In Karabakh". Barron's. Agence France-Presse. Archived from the original on 20 September 2023.
  24. ^ "Turkey says Israeli ground operation in Gaza will result in massacre". The Jerusalem Post. 25 October 2023.
Political offices Preceded byMevlüt Çavuşoğlu Minister of Foreign Affairs 2023–present Incumbent
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Hakan Fidan
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