The word “intelligence” in English and French, which means “wisdom, intellect”, literally means to be informed in Turkish. However, information merely means unprocessed data in intelligence terminology. Intelligence, on the other hand, is a product generated by processing the reports, information and documents compiled from various sources so as to meet the requirements designated by the state.
Existing since the dawn of humanity, intelligence activity is one of the factors that play an important role of high priority in the future of states today, as it has been the case in the past. In fact, this activity is carried out in order to disclose the capabilities of the target or potential target individuals, groups, organizations or governments and to foresee their possible modus operandi.
It is only through the production of sound intelligence that one can foresee the future, obtain information about the potential problems in advance and grasp the underlying realities. It is not sufficient to collect reports, information and documents to produce intelligence. Acquired reports, information and documents should be systematically processed. An important piece of information may cause misleading results when assessed incorrectly.
Raw information on a past or future event is evaluated throughout the stages of classification, evaluation, interpretation and dissemination; in other words, it is processed.
Intelligence activity is a continuous effort and it is resembled to a cycle by all the intelligence organizations of the world. There are four phases which constitute this cycle:
Determining the Intelligence Requirements and Orienting the Collection Activity:
The first phase of the cycle involves the stages of determining the appropriate collection environments that might respond to the intelligence requests and requirements of the President, Prime Minister, Chief of General Staff, Secretary General of the National Security Council as well as the relevant ministries and of orienting the collection activity in order to draft and implement the plans related to the national security policy of the state in accordance with Law no. 2937.
The sources that are used in the collection of the information which forms the foundation stones of the intelligence production process are divided into two as “open” and “covert” sources. Newspapers, magazines, books, radio and TV broadcasts and websites constitute the open sources. Covert sources, on the other hand, comprise of those individuals who are capable of compiling information on a particular intelligence requirement by using technology along with various collection methods.
Reports, information and documents compiled as a result of the efforts of the collection units and come from the institutions other than our organization are evaluated after going through the stages of classification, evaluation and interpretation; in other words, they are processed. Classification is the first stage. At this stage, similar pieces of information are gathered together. Second stage is evaluation, i.e. the determination of the intelligence value of the information, the reliability of its source and the accuracy of the information. The stage of interpretation comes next. Interpretation is the activity of putting forward the meaning and importance of incidents, developments and similar cases based on the available information.
Disseminating and Using Intelligence:
The reports which are processed after being evaluated and gain the quality of intelligence are delivered to the relevant institutions on a timely and immediate basis. The relevant institutions not only use this intelligence but also determine new intelligence requirements within the framework of the priorities constantly reviewed and assessed. Thus, the “Intelligence Cycle” is completed, which comprises of four successive phases and which, after the fourth phase, comes back to the first phase again.
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