MGK says democracy to priority

MGK says democracy to priority

Turkey’s top security board said Turkey would not step back from democracy and the rule of law in revitalized efforts to combat terrorism, hours before Turkish jets killed at least 35 people in southeastern Anatolia based on intelligence they were terrorists.

The National Security Board (MGK) Dec. 28 reviewed the state of the fight against terrorism in its last meeting of the year and underlined that the fight will go on without conceding from democracy and the rule of law. Turkey has been fighting against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) for the last two decades, and its methods were often subject to criticism.

According to information the Hürriyet Daily News gathered, the council made an overall analysis on its counter-terrorism performance and agreed to give more emphasis to meet Kurds’ democratic needs. “The security-democracy balance was ruined in recent years. We surely need to rebuild this balance,” sources familiar with the MGK meetings told the Daily News.

“Recent operations gave a heavy blow to the terrorists. Our operations will continue to be carried out,” read the MGK statement.

The MGK also discussed the political crisis in neighboring Iraq, which could complicate Turkey’s security and stability. Calling on all Iraqi political groups to cooperate and resolve the problem through dialogue, the MGK said a solution should be based on a pluralistic democratic understanding and rule of law.

It also expressed Turkey’s strong expectations that Iraqi authorities prevent PKK activities in northern Iraq.

The statement also said Turkey would activate additional measures against France if it adopts the bill outlawing the denial of Armenian genocide allegations and said the law would be “opposed in every way.”