Democratic intiative discudded at security meeting in Ankara
Top government and military officials convened yesterday for a national security meeting at Prime Ministry headquarters in Ankara to discuss recent developments on a government initiative to solve the so-called Kurdish issue or southeastern Anatolia issue by expanding democratic rights and individual freedoms. Chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the meeting was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek, Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin, Interior Minister Besir Atalay, Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, Chief of General Staff. Gen. Ilker Basbug, Land Forces Commander Gen. Isik Kosaner, Gendarmerie General Commander Gen. Atila Isik, and Land Forces Vice Commander Gen. Aslan Guner. During the meeting, Atalay, who is coordinating the initiative, spoke about his meetings to reach a broad consensus on the initiative with various sectors of society such as political parties, non-governmental groups, and opinion leaders. A short statement from the Prime Ministry said afterwards that measures to ensure Turkey's internal security and order and policies to fight terrorism had been discussed during the meeting. Turkey's unitary state structure as an indivisible entirety with its land and nation was reportedly reconfirmed as the chief non-negotiable plank, or "red line," of the planned democratic measures. In related news, an action plan will be drawn up based on Atalay's preliminary report on his talks, including suggestions from related state institutions such as the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), and it will be discussed at next month's National Security Council (MGK) meeting. After agreement is reached on the details of the initiative, tangible steps are expected by year’s-end.