MGK pledges unwavering fight against terrorist PKK
Chaired by President Abdullah Gul, the National Security Council (MGK) convened yesterday in Istanbul, with top government and military officials in attendance. Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug, set to hand over his post to Gen. Isik Kosaner on Aug. 30, attended the council meeting for the last time, while it was the first MGK meeting for Gen. Necdet Ozel, who took over the Gendarmerie Command from Gen. Atila Isik earlier this month. A statement issued after the meeting underlined Turkey's determination to continue fighting the separatist terrorist PKK and its supporters with the help of the Turkish people. "During the meeting, the determination to continue the fight without any concessions against the separatist terrorist group, which targets our country's unity and indivisible integrity, as well as the public order and right to life, and its proponents with the nation's support was once again confirmed," said the statement. Referring to incidents of social unrest in various parts of the country as the PKK steps up its terrorist campaign, the statement said, "During the meeting, the ironclad conviction that our people, as always, will act with common sense in the face of provocation efforts by the terrorist group and its proponents to create chaos, weaken public amity, and spoil the social peace, and will never allow these sources of evil to reach their goals." Israel's May 31 aid flotilla raid and subsequent developments were also discussed during the meeting, the statement said, adding that the council members had reviewed national and international efforts to investigate the incident, which was a grave violation of international law. Regional issues were also discussed at the meeting, the statement said. On the Iranian nuclear issue, the statement said Turkey will continue its efforts to facilitate a peaceful solution to the issue, adding that talks Iran might hold with the Vienna Group within the context of the Tehran Declaration, as well as talks with the P5+1 (five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) in a broader context, carry great importance for finding a diplomatic solution to the issue. On a recent border skirmish between Lebanon and Israel, the statement said preserving peace and stability in Lebanon is directly related to regional peace and stability. The statement also expressed deep solidarity with flood-stricken Pakistan, saying that Turkey's aid to the suffering Pakistani people would continue.