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Why was Turkey's intel chief in Washington?

Turkish intel chief Hakan Fidan's visit to the United States generated an uproar from the Turkish opposition. Why did Erdogan encourage this public bashing of Fidan?
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and intelligence chief Hakan Fidan are seen before a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia August 24, 2018.  Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool via REUTERS - RC1992C13F10

Turkish news outlets reported on Dec. 6 that Hakan Fidan, the director of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT), was in Washington DC to brief Congress on the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Although initial media reports used prudent language, emphasizing “closed door” meetings, Fidan’s Washington engagements became an urgent matter of interest in Turkey’s fast-paced news cycle.

Indeed, government sources in Ankara classified this as a routine trip for the intelligence community. After traveling with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the G-20 summit in Argentina, Fidan first landed in Canada. Then he arrived in Washington — a routine visit, according to sources in Ankara and Washington — and met with senators of the NATO Observer Group. Sources in the United States confirmed official Turkish statements that the Khashoggi case was only one among several other intelligence and security issues discussed.

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