Title: NSA’s Oldest Third Party SIGINT Partnership
Release Date: 2014-08-31
Document Date: 2005-10-07
Description: This October 2005 article, taken from the internal NSA newsletter Foreign Affairs Digest, provides a brief history of the agency’s past and current relationship with its Turkish counterparts, which includes a staff of 40 NSA employees stationed in Ankara: see the Intercept article How the NSA Helped Turkey Kill Kurdish Rebels, 31 August 2014. Download […]
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TOP SECRET // SI tTK // REL TO USA AUS CAN GBR NZL
(U) NS As Oldest Third Party SJGJNT Partnership
Countiy Desk Officer (CiDO) Turkey
Run Date: 10/07/200S (S//S1) Our "oldest" Third Patty partner is Turkey, with whom wre've had a
S1GJNT relationship since 1049, That begs a question, since NSA wrasn't created until November
19 S2. This article answers that question and sketches the relationship between NSA and our rwo
Turkish SIGINT partners.
(S//Sl)The NSA/CSS Representative, Turkey (NCR TURK), located in beautiful Ankara writh a
staff of about 40 NSAers, is responsible for providing SJGJNT technical assistance, engineeting
advice, maintenance suppoit, equipment, and training to both of the Turkish SJGJNT organizations:
■ the General Electronic Seivice (GES), a military SJGJNT command under the J2 intelligence
Directorate of the Turkish General Staff (TGS); and
■ the Electronic and Technical Intelligence (ETl) Directorate, the SIGINT element of the civilian
Turkish National Intelligence Organization (TNIO). (S//S1) Our SIGINT exchange with these
partners includes information on a variety of regional military tai^gets and a significant amount of
data on terrorism tai^gets, to include international groups and indigenous terrorist organizations such
as the Ku id is tan People's Congress (Kongra Gel / KGK, formerly known as the PKK), Jn return.
GES provides information on Russian military forces, regional activity in the Caucasus, and|
GES also identifies shipping traffic in the Dardanelles and collects radar signatures under
the SEA SENTRY program. GES and ETl provide language assistance on KGK/PKK traffic; and
ETJ and NS A have a dedicated circuit for CT [ Countertenor is ml analytic exchanges.
access to the unde it» el ly of the Soviet beast. Turkey is now a committed US/Coalition partner both
in the Global War on Terrorism and in NATO peacekeeping and stabilization operations throughout
the region. Turkey's borders writh Iraq, Iran and Syria have obvious geopolitical significance for US
military planners and political strategists. In addition, ongoing joint signals surveys between NS A
and GES have the potential to provide unique access to emerging targets of interest.
(TS//S1) In answrer to the question begged above, the US/Turkey SJGJNT relationship did begin in
1949, but it wras based on a verbal agreement between CIA and ETl, wdth CIA offering funding and
equipment to ETl in exchange for raw COMJNT traffic. In 1979, the program of suppoit for ETl
wras assumed by NS A and incoiporated into the Consolidated Cryptologic Program (CCP). The
legal basis for the US SIGINT relationship writh GES stems from a June 1994 Joint Military
Facilities Agreement that wras further amplified in a 19&2 MOU that committed the US to provide
SIGJNT information, training, equipment, and assistance in the development of a SIGJNT capability
(TS//S1) NS A entered into this 19&2 agreement writh the TGS in exchange for Turkish permission to
operate US SIGJNT sites on Tur Irish soil. NS A's overt SIGINT operations in Turkey ceased writh the
closing of Sinop in September 1993. SCS continues to conduct covert SIGINT collection from sites
in Istanbul and Ankara.
(U) Adana Mosque, on the Seyhan River in Adana, Turkey
(U//FOUO) This article is reprinted from the Foreign Affairs Digest, September edition.