High advisory board stresses Turkey’s fights against terrorism
The high advisory board of the Turkish presidency held a closed-door meeting on Nov. 5 to discuss the latest regional and international developments, putting extra emphasis on Turkey’s anti-terror “Operation Peace Spring” into northeastern Syria and its fight against FETÖ.
The meeting was chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The high advisory board meeting lasted about three hours, according to local media, with the participation of board members Bülent Arınç, former deputy prime minister, İsmail Kahraman, Cemil Çiçek, Köksal Toptan, Mehmet Ali Şahin and Yıldırım Akbulut.
Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun and Metin Kıratlı, the Director of Administrative Affairs of the Presidency, also attended the meeting.
During the meeting, the board stressed Turkey’s fight against terrorism, saying no compromises will be made against the “determined fight against FETÖ.”
“It was also emphasized that the fight against FETÖ, the perpetrator of the treacherous July 15 coup attempt, will never be compromised. Our martyrs and veterans were also gratefully commemorated,” Altun said in a written statement after the meeting.
“It was also strongly stressed that attitudes and behaviors, which have the potential to weaken the fight against this villainous terrorist organization, will not be allowed,” he said.
Arınç, a board member who is also a founding member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), had previously called the removal of civil servants after the 2016 coup attempt via emergency decrees a “disaster.”
In an interview on Oct. 31, Arınç expressed his sorrow to see the suffering of tens of thousands of civil servants who were dismissed through decrees, because of being members of FETÖ, in the aftermath of 2016 coup attempt.
“The decrees are a disaster,” he had said.
After Arınç’s remarks, President Erdoğan on Nov. 5 said he regrets the former’s statements.
“I regret that he said, ‘Decree laws are a disaster’ as he is a fine jurist. We have a meeting today, and we’ll talk about it there,” Erdoğan said after the parliamentary group meeting of the AKP. The meeting he was referring to was the high advisory board meeting.
The board meeting of Nov. 5 also underlined Turkey’s operation into northeastern Syria.
“Mr. President stressed that the main purpose of three important operations carried out in Syria in the last three years is the fight against terrorist organizations, especially the PKK/YPG and ISIL,” Altun said in his statement.
He also stated that the advisory board members emphasized Turkey has suffered the brunt of the refugee crisis and the country blocked individuals from heading to the region to join terrorist organizations.
“Turkey came face to face with accusations that it does not deserve and the heavy pressures on Turkey in the international arena increased with Operation Peace Spring,” Altun added.
Altun said the meeting discussed the use of strategic communication channels, soft-power elements and parliamentary diplomacy tools to inform the international community about Turkey’s legitimate fight against terror and to battle the fiercest smear campaigns targeting the country.