UK’s Moore joins US, France spymasters as third Turkish speaking intelligence chief

Richard Moore becomes the new director of the U.K.'s MI6 Secret Intelligence Service. (Sabah Photo)

The British government has appointed its former Ambassador to Turkey Richard Moore as the new chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, or MI6.

Moore’s appointment makes MI6 the third intel agency – after the CIA and France’s DGSE – currently led by people who have served in Turkey and are fluent in Turkish.

He succeeds Alex Younger, who was a career intelligence officer and became Britain’s top spy in 2014.

Moore, a fluent Turkish speaker, has served as the political director for the Foreign Office, deputy national security adviser and ambassador to Ankara from 2014 to 2017.

In the U.S., President Donald Trump appointed Gina Haspel as CIA director, who speaks Turkish and several other languages. She reportedly learned Turkish in 2000 while working as a deputy station chief in Ankara.

In France, Bernard Émié, chief of the French security agency DGSE, also speaks Turkish since he served as the French Ambassador to Turkey from 2007 to 2011.