In the first National Security Council (MGK) meeting of 2017 chaired by the Turkish President Erdogan, also the country’s commander-in-chief, and attended by ministers and highest ranking military officers, Turkey’s internal and external security policies were discussed.
A statement was issued at the end of the meeting that took eight hours:
“1. The terror threat to Turkey’s national security and the precautions taken within a legal framework were discussed.
An annual analysis of the struggle against FETO (the government used acronym for the Gulenist movement), the PKK and Daesh (Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group) was made.
A comprehensive evaluation of the terror attacks in Istanbul, Kayseri and Izmir, the assassination of the Russian Ambassador and the New Year’s night attack in Istanbul was made, and all attacks were fiercely condemned.
Our commitment to taking the necessary precautions against the asymmetric attacks against our country both domestically and abroad was renewed.
The heinous attacks carried out by the separatist terrorist organisation and its affiliates has once again proven the theses expressed by Turkey in the international sphere.
A need to better articulate to the world our rightfulness in our fight against terrorist organisations was emphasised. A commitment to the struggle against the terrorist organisations that exploit religious, sectarian and ethnic sensitivities and the forces behind them was reiterated.
2. The military aid afforded to terrorist organisations was seen to strengthen these organisations and allowed for them to expand their sphere of influence.
3. The latest developments in Syria and Iraq were evaluated; the terror threat arising from these countries and their impact on our country and the region was highlighted.
4. A commitment to the preservation and strengthening of the ceasefire in Syria was underlined; the Astana meetings were evaluated; and a continuing commitment to Turkey’s role in Syria’s political transition and its humanitarian responsibilities were reaffirmed.”
The MGK ordinarily meets once a month and is generally accepted as the mechanism of the Turkish state that shapes and implements the country’s domestic and international security policies. In the past, the council has been criticised for its excessive military inclination to security policy.