Dr Ibrahim Kalin
Head of Turkish Intelligence
24
Dr Ibrahim Kalin
Head of Turkish Intelligence

Dr Kalin is a scholar and intellectual who has been a long-term confidant of President Erdoğan, previously holding the posts of Senior Advisor to the President and Presidential Spokesperson. He was appointed head of the Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MIT) in June 2023.

Birth: 24 May 2024 (Age: 2024)

Source of Influence: Political

Influence: Head of Turkish Intelligence

School of Thought: Traditional Sunni

Status: Featured in current year

Influence

Scholar: After completing his initial university studies in his birth town, Istanbul, Kalin earned an MA from the International Islamic University of Malaysia and undertook his PhD from George Washington University under the supervision of Islamic philosopher Seyyed Hossein Nasr. His dissertation was later published by the OUP entitled: Knowledge in Later Islamic Philosophy: Mullā Ṣadrā on Existence, Intellect, and Intuition. Dr Kalin has published widely on Islamic philosophy, relations between Islam and the West, and Turkish foreign policy.

Academic: From 2002 to 2005 he was a faculty member at the Department of Religious Studies at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts before founding and being director of the SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research based in Ankara, Turkey (2005–2009). He also served as a Fellow at Georgetown University.

Political Confidant: Kalin was introduced to government in 2009 by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who is also an academic. Despite Davutoglu falling out with President Erdoğan, Kalin not only stayed, but ended up becoming an  even more key figure. He has become a long-term confidant of Erdoğan and served as Presidential Spokesperson and Senior Adviser to the President from 2014. Kalin has taken the lead on several diplomatic efforts in recent years, showing his skills in negotiating complex issues during the Syrian conflict with major powers such as Russia, the US, and Iran to establish ceasefire agreements and initiate peace talks. He has also been heavily involved in Türkiye’s relationship with the European Union (EU).

Head of The National Intelligence Agency (MIT):  Kalin’s appointment was met with surprise in certain quarters due to his lack of a military background. However, others view his unique experiences and intellectual proficiency across various fields as a seamless fit for meeting the growing demands of modern intelligence agencies, characterized by heightened complexity and multidisciplinary challenges. Since his appointment in June 2023 he hasn’t posted publicly to his substantial 3 million social media followers.

Musician: His passion for folk music has propelled him into becoming a proficient bağlama player, mastering the intricacies of this long-necked lute traditionally employed in Ottoman classical music. His performances on YouTube, both playing the instrument and singing, have garnered millions of views.

Quotes

“No matter how big, tall and crowded things are, the sun always rises over them. Follow the sun. Witness the sun. Be the sun.”

Statistics

9 years adviser to President Erdoğan

4 million followers on social media