'That's embarrassing!': MI6 head tags parody account in tweet applauding new Turkey FM

'That's embarrassing!': MI6 head tags parody account in tweet applauding new Turkey FM
Richard Moore, the head of the UK's secret intelligence service, was mocked online by Twitter users for tagging an account that did not belong to Turkey's newly-appointed foreign minister, Hakan Fidan.
3 min read
05 June, 2023
An account parodying Hakan Fidan was wrongfully tagged by Richard Moore [Getty]

The head of the UK’s secret intelligence service MI6 congratulated a parody social media account for Turkey’s newly-appointed Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan on Sunday, much to the amusement of Twitter users.

Richard Moore, who has been chief of the intelligence service since 2020, wrote in Turkish: "I wish my friend and former colleague good luck in his new position. Good luck, minister @hakanfidan_tr!"

Shortly after the tweet was published, Moore was met by replies from Twitter users pointing out that the account did not belong to Fidan, who was also a spymaster, but someone impersonating him.

One user, Martin, said: "It is an [sic] parody account. Mr. Moore u must pay attention to the details. Hakan Fidan does have an [sic] Twitter account yet."

Some replies were more harsh. One user, named Oguz Khan, tweeted: "If you're running MI6 like this, your citizens must feel very safe."

Another user, Melih, sarcastically claimed to be Meral Aksener, who is the head of the nationalist Iyi (Good) Party, and former deputy speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.

One hour or so after the mishap, Moore seemingly realised his mistake and corrected himself.

He said: "Oops, that’s embarrassing! But my good wishes are real even if the account is a parody!"

Moore is fluent in Turkish, and previously worked as the British ambassador to Turkey, having served between 2014 and 2017.

The diplomat is the first member of the British of the secret intelligence service to openly use Twitter, having done so since October 2020. His first post, in commemoration of his role as MI6 chief, was noted for its humorous use of emojis and hashtags.

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Moore tweeted his arrival in the role with a wink emoji. He then published a follow-up tweet which read: "I plan to keep tweeting, but obviously can neither confirm nor deny how often. I’ll also try to persuade some of you to come and work for #MI6. #Bond or #Smiley need not apply. They're (splendid) fiction but actually we’re #secretlyjustlikeyou."

Fidan, a member of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), was named on Saturday as foreign minister during the unveiling of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s new cabinet, following his swearing-in for a third time as Turkey's president.

Prior to this post, Fidan worked as the head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) between 2010 and 2023.