Turkish President Erdoğan hosts urgent security summit with top officials

Turkish President Erdoğan hosts urgent security summit with top officials

Turkish President Erdoğan hosts urgent security summit with top officials

CİHAN photo

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan decided to host a hastily arranged security meeting with top officials on Feb. 9, as Turkey struggles to cope with the latest influx of refugees from Syria and ongoing operations against militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the southeast.

The security summit to be chaired by Erdoğan was set to begin at 4.30 p.m., and was not included in the president’s official daily schedule published in the morning.

“Developments in the region and the fight against terror” would be on agenda of the meeting, sources from the Presidency told reporters.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar, Interior Minister Efkan Ala, and National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Chief Hakan Fidan were all due to participate.

Davutoğlu postponed a scheduled visit to the Netherlands in order to attend. He was originally scheduled to depart late on Feb. 9 but he will now depart for the visit on the morning of Feb. 10.

“We will hold a narrow meeting and will review sensitive issues there,” Erdoğan had said last week when asked about Turkey’s possible response to “the creation of a de facto situation in Syria.”

“We don’t want to make the same mistake in Syria that was made in Iraq. I stood by the March 1 motion,” he added, referring to the motion introduced by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government allowing the deployment of U.S. troops in Turkey and the deployment Turkish troops in Iraq as part of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

“Those who were against it didn’t say openly at the time. Some secretly lobbied. You can find who they are by researching. If the March 1 motion was accepted at the first moment and Turkey was in Iraq, then the situation in Iraq would not be like it is today. If the March 1 motion had been accepted, Turkey would have been sitting at the table. At the time, [former U.S. President George W.] Bush has made a request during meetings with me. But unfortunately we were left to handle our friends’ mistake,” he said.

Former President Abdullah Gül was appointed as the foreign minister only days after the March motion was rejected during his term in office as prime minister. Erdoğan was subsequently appointed as prime minister.