Turkey’s security board talks measures for safe polls amid rising concerns

Ankara, Sep 3 () - Turkey’s top security board discussed security measures to be taken for the safety of upcoming snap elections amid growing concerns on the security conditions especially in the country’s eastern and southeastern Anatolian region.

The National Security Council (MGK) held its bi-monthly meeting late on Sept. 2 and issued a written statement about the issues discussed by the members of the council. Chaired by President Tayyip Erdoğan, the MGK hosted new Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and other new top commanders, as well as the new interior and foreign ministers of the interim government for the first time.

Measures to allow citizens to cast their votes “in an environment free of any sort of pressure” were discussed at the council, the statement read, underlining the importance of carrying out the election in “comfort and confidence.”

The meeting came days after President Erdoğan said he believed mistakes committed during the June 7 elections “will not be repeated” in November polls.

The MGK emphasized Turkey’s commitment to fight against separatist terrorist organizations, vowing that they will never be able to weaken the people’s will of co-habitation and stressing the need for international cooperation in the fight against terror.

Developments in Syria were also evaluated, especially after Turkey started hitting Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) positions across the border after a deal reached with the United States. Reiterating Turkey’s commitment to stand against ISIL, the MGK mentioned Ankara’s belief in the importance of “an area cleared of terrorist organizations” inside Syria.

The MGK also touched on the fight against the “parallel structure,” an expression used by the government to describe sympathizers of the Fethullah Gülen community within state institutions, emphasizing that the “struggle will continue with determination.”

The meeting and statement follows a comprehensive raid of Gülen-linked Koza İpek business group, which also has interests in the media with two newspapers and two TV stations.


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