Turkish Security Council Convenes Amid Heightened Tension

General Chief of Staff Gen. İlker Basbug, left, and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. AFP photo

ANKARA (Hurriyet)—The Turkish National Security Council (MGK) on Monday called on people to act with common sense and to avoid moves that could harm the unity of the country at its bi-monthly regular meeting.

At a moment when the country has been shaken with an alleged assassination plot against Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, the MGK convened under the chairmanship of President Abdullah Gul and with the participation of top civilian and military officials.

The statement issued after the four-and-half-hour-long meeting skipped the ongoing discussion about the plot but instead indirectly referred the street clashes that occurred just after the closure of the Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP).

“The determination to eliminate the terror and its roots that target the integrity and the unity of our country has been emphasized. It has been reaffirmed that our citizens, under contemporary democracy and rule of law, will continue to behave with common sense and will avoid moves that could hurt the brotherhood,” it read.

According to the statement, the board also discussed the ongoing peace talks between Turkish and Greek Cypriots, Turkey’s accession negotiations with the European Union, and the trilateral mechanism between the United States, Turkey and Iraq to crack down on the members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).  

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan later held talks with the ministers who joined the MGK meeting to evaluate the outcome and to draw a road map. The last meeting of 2009 brought together Erdogan; Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug; head of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT), Emre Taner; Interior Minister Besir Atalay; and other military and civilian officials.

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