Turkey's former spy chief quits election, gets job back

Turkey`s powerful former intelligence chief was on Monday reappointed head of the secret service after dropping a bid to run for parliament in upcoming elections, a government spokesman said.

Ankara: Turkey`s powerful former intelligence chief was on Monday reappointed head of the secret service after dropping a bid to run for parliament in upcoming elections, a government spokesman said.

"Mr prime minister has reappointed (Hakan Fidan) as MIT (National Intelligence Organisation) undersecretary," Bulent Arinc told reporters in Ankara. "He is due to take up office soon."

Fidan had earlier on Monday announced he was abandoning his election bid after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed fury over his decision to step down and seek elected office.

In February, Fidan resigned from the MIT to stand as a lawmaker from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the June 7 legislative polls.

Erdogan repeatedly said he was not happy with Fidan`s decision.

"I do not view Hakan Fidan`s candidacy positively," the president said last month.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had discussed Fidan`s withdrawal with the president and approved of it, said Arinc in comments after the second cabinet meeting chaired by Erdogan since he became head of state in August.

Fidan did not explain why he had given up his MP candidacy, saying only that he deemed it "necessary." He said he would continue to "serve my country and my nation".

Widely seen as one of Turkey`s most powerful figures, Fidan had served as head of the Turkish secret service since 2010 and has always been considered one of Erdogan`s closest allies.