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Erdogan unhappy with Turkish spy chief’s resignation

The Turkish president said that he had made his opinion on the matter clear to the prime minister

Published: Updated:

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday he was unhappy with the decision of powerful intelligence chief Hakan Fidan to resign from his post and stand for parliament in June elections.

“I do not view Hakan Fidan’s candidacy positively,” Erdogan said in televised comments at Istanbul airport before heading on a visit to Latin America.

Erdogan said that he had made his opinion on the matter clear to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu but said the premier had the final say.

“I said this to the respected prime minister. I am saying this openly and clearly. But this is a decision of the respected prime minister and the government.

“I cannot interfere,” Erdogan added.

Erdogan’s comments stunned Turkish media who had assumed Fidan’s departure was part of a masterplan by the Turkish strongman ahead of the June 7 legislative polls.

Widely seen as one of Turkey’s most powerful figures, Fidan served as head of the National Intelligence Agency (MIT) since 2010 and has always been regarded as one of the closest allies of Erdogan.

Fidan, who rarely speaks in public, has made no comment on the matter since his resignation was first reported late on Friday.