Posted by: hevallo | August 22, 2009

Turkish State Security Council (Real Power in Turkey) says ‘Continue’.

After a seven-hour National Security Council (MGK) meeting chaired by President Abdullah Gül on Thursday at the Çankaya presidential palace, the council said in a statement that “council members were briefed about the efforts of the Interior Ministry, which were carried out to cement unity of Turkey and Turkish people and to ensure the peace, prosperity and happiness of people.” The council also said, “It has been recommended that the efforts taken under the supervision of the interior minister continue, in order to provide for the happiness, peace and welfare of society.” During the meeting, Turkish military and civilian leaders lent their support to the initiative, a project that if fulfilled will significantly expand the cultural rights of the country’s Kurdish population.

The support of the MGK, which includes military officers, strengthens the government’s hand in pushing through reforms that have received criticism from opposition parties.

The “democratic initiative package” wasn’t on the official agenda for the meeting, but Interior Minister Beşir Atalay briefed the council members on all the contacts that have been made so far as part of the government’s process. Recalling the many statements of strong support the government had received from business circles, civil society organizations, unions and artists, he said that outside of a handful of political parties most supported the initiative.

In his statement to the press after the meeting, Atalay also said he believed that the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) had to search for a solution within the framework of a unitary state structure, emphasizing that the government would not accept any solution proposal outside these bounds.

During the meeting, Atalay drew attention in particular when he commented that suggestions that he was consulting with the terrorist leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, were a great injustice. Without naming any names, Atalay said during the meeting that the solution would be found under the roof of Parliament and with the contributions of all civil society organizations. After Atalay spoke on this topic, all of the military and civilian meeting participants recommended that the process to find a road map to a solution include the contribution of views from all segments of society.

The statement issued by the MGK after the meeting also suggested that the military had discussed the government’s initiative in previous gatherings of the council, on April 28 and June 30. “In light of the evaluations made in previous meetings, the council has recommended that the work [continue],” the statement also said. Referring to the initiative as a democratic initiative package, the MGK’s statement reflects the AK Party’s move in a new light, as an effort supported by all arms of the state, not just a project belonging to a single party or administration.
Opposition stances have potential to change

While the MGK’s statement of support paves the way for the Republican People’s Party (CHP) to figure out its stance on the initiative package, the details of which have not yet been announced, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) seems entrenched in its opposition to the AK Party-initiated project no matter what its final form may be.

CHP second-in-command Onur Öymen said that while the council threw its support behind the plan, the issue of maintaining the state’s unitary structure must be paid close attention throughout any solution process. However, the CHP administration has decided to consider support of the package after learning that the military has been privy to discussion on the issue since April. Source: Zaman.

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