PM Erdoğan holds unscheduled summit with inner Cabinet
AA PhotoPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gathered top-level members of Cabinet on May 19 for an unscheduled meeting.
In addition to last week’s coal mine disaster in the western town of Soma that killed 301 miners, security on the border with Syria and the long-stalled peace process with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) were also reportedly on the agenda. The peace process refers the government-led initiative to end the long-running Kurdish issue by ending the three-decade-old conflict between security forces and the PKK.
In last few weeks, protests against the building of new outposts in the predominantly Kurdish-populated southeast, as well as the alleged kidnapping of children by the PKK, have dominated reports from the region.
In a press statement read in front of the Diyarbakır Municipality building on May 19, the families of three high school students who have allegedly joined the PKK have called for the return of their children, vowing to hold a hunger strike if they do not. The families called on President Abdullah Gül, Prime Minister Erdoğan, and imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan to work for the release of their children.
Deputy Prime Ministers Beşir Atalay and Bülent Arınç, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Interior Minister Efkan Ala, Culture and Tourism Minister Ömer Çelik, Undersecretary Hakan Fidan of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Deputy Chair Numan Kurtulmuş, AKP Deputy Chair and Spokesperson Hüseyin Çelik, and Mersin deputy Recai Berber were participants in the unscheduled meeting held at the Prime Ministry.
Atalay is known to have been closely involved in the peace process, while intelligence chief Fidan has also played a central role.