President Gül vows ‘no tolerance’ for those responsible for Syria leak
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
President Gül speaks to journalists after Friday prayers in Istanbul, March 28. AA PhotoTurkish President Abdullah Gül has slammed the leaked recording of top security officials on possible military action in Syria, and vowed that those who carried out the wiretapping would be found and shown “no tolerance.” Gül also described the wiretapping as a “huge audacity” and an “act of espionage” in his first public statement regarding the incident March 28.
“What’s necessary will be done and those who planned, organized, participated, contributed to and carried out this act will by all means be found. There will absolutely be no tolerance,” Gül told reporters following Friday prayers in Istanbul.
“We have instructed the state institutions to be careful with regards to provocations to draw Turkey into the war in Syria and [take measures] on attacks that may target the Turkish flag in our land outside our borders [referring to the Süleyman Shah tomb]. Following, listening to, and watching a meeting headed by the foreign minister in his office with the top officials of the security bureau where they discuss such measures is a huge audacity,” Gül said.
Gül was referring to the Süleyman Shah Tomb, located 25 kilometers inside Syria, which is officially Turkish land following bilateral agreements made in the early 1920s and is protected by Turkish soldiers.
“This is an act of espionage, because it is directly related with the security of the state. Those who were at the meeting are the top officials of the bureaucracy,” he said.
Gül added he had consulted Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu – both present in the leaked meeting – and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over the issue.
“These are the meetings where the top state bureaucracy and professionals gather and discuss the advice they will give us … Those who were part of this will be found and punished in the most severe manner that the laws instruct.”
The voices of the illegal recording believed to belong, in addition to Sinirlioğlu, to Davutoğlu, National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Hakan Fidan and Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Gürel.
Davutoğlu, who chaired the meeting, solemnly described the recording leaked to YouTube as a “declaration of war,” adding that everyone would be meticulously investigated.