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Erdogan accidentally reveals faces of Turkish intelligence officers

Erdogan accidentally reveals faces of Turkish intelligence officers Photo: President of Türkiye, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Getty Images)

President of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan deleted a tweet containing photos of his address to hundreds of Turkish intelligence officers, potentially unintentionally jeopardizing their security, reports Balkan Insight.

It is noted that he spoke at the National Intelligence Organization, the headquarters of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The post with the photos had to be deleted as the faces of hundreds of agency employees were visible in the pictures.

"Since the identities of MIT personnel have been disclosed, huge security risks have arisen. Personnel taking responsibility at home and abroad may be targeted by foreign intelligence agencies and terrorist organizations," said security analyst Burak Yildirim.

According to Yildirim, Erdogan's careless act not only endangered the personal security of intelligence officers but also the operations of MIT and the families of the officers.

"There may be risks not only to life safety but also to operations carried out by the institution. The families of these personnel, if any, may also be exposed to various risks. Institutional personnel may be targets of blackmail through their families and relatives," said Yildirim.

Not all photos were deleted

After the reaction on social media, President Erdogan deleted the tweet. However, Türkiye's Minister of Justice Yilmaz Tunc also shared photos from the conference hall and did not delete his tweet.

Instead, Tunc edited his tweet and removed critical photos, but the earlier version of the tweet can still be seen if users decide to view the old version, a new feature introduced by the social network X.

At least 49,000 users saw Tunc's edited tweet. Yildirim, the security analyst, said this could be seen as a minor mistake but carries serious risks.

In 2020, Turkish courts ordered the arrest of several journalists for revealing the identity of an MIT field officer who served and died in Libya.