Erdoğan hosts Kilis governor as ISIL rockets pound border town

Erdoğan hosts Kilis governor as ISIL rockets pound border town

Erdoğan hosts Kilis governor as ISIL rockets pound border town

DHA photo

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has hosted a delegation from the southeastern province of Kilis, led by Kilis Gov. Süleyman Tapsız, as persistent rocket fire from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in northern Syria continues to threaten the province. 

“Mr. President said he was already closely following [the attacks on Kilis], was informed on everything and that he is standing with Kilis and the people of Kilis,” Tapsız told reporters following a 1.5-hour closed-door meeting at the Huber Palace in Istanbul’s Tarabya district on May 16.

Tapsız was accompanied by Kilis deputies Reşit Polat, Hilmi Dülger and Kilis Mayor Hasan Kara at the meeting which was also attended by Interior Minister Efkan Ala. The president wanted to receive information on the situation in Kilis by listening to locals, the governor said. 

In response to a question on whether the state would meet the economic demands of tradespeople in Kilis, Tapsız said Erdoğan reassured him that all necessary measures were being taken.

“There are measures, packages – economic packages – relating to the economic situation of our tradespeople,” Tapsız said. “Orders have been given to provide interest-free loans from state-owned banks and postpone both tax debt and insurance premium payments.” 

The president confirmed that all necessary security measures would be taken and that the infrastructure of Kilis would be improved, the governor said, expressing his gratitude for being welcomed by Erdoğan. 

The meeting came around a week-and-a-half after locals of Kilis published an advert signed by leaders of four key civil society organizations, calling on the state to provide security and relief assistance to the residents of Kilis, as they were also “citizens of the Turkish Republic.”

“Kilis is under attack! Our homeland is under attack!” said the advert, which included the hashtag “#KiliseSESver” (Speak up for Kilis).