Turkey’s National Security Council discusses military operations, terrorism

Turkey’s National Security Council discussed what Turkey deems to be domestic and foreign terrorist threats, military and political developments “in the world and in our region,” and how to proceed in various areas of conflict including the eastern Mediterranean, according to a statement released after the meeting.

The statement mentioned Turkey’s “success, perseverance and determination against all forms of threats and dangers against our national unity and solidarity, particularly against PKK/KCK-PYD/YPG, FETO and DAESH terrorist organizations.”

In this 4.5-hour-long first meeting of 2021, the Council focused on military operations in Northern Iraq against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and groups Turkey considers to be affiliated with it, saying it discussed “steps taken to end the presence in our southern neighbors’ territories of terrorist organizations, the principal cause of stability in our region.”

Turkey has continued land and air operations, dubbed Claw-Eagle and Claw-Tiger respectively, since June in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, and has been discussing whether to target Sinjar.

The statement also mentioned “acts of terror and violence … across various regions and in Africa, especially in Somalia.”

“Turkey primarily favors diplomacy and dialogue at every platform in the settlement of Aegean, Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus issues,” the Council said, “but that it is also determined to protect its rights, relevance and interests emanating from international law and agreements.”

Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden’s National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan “underscored President Biden’s commitment to the transatlantic alliance and his intention to repair and revitalize the U.S.-EU partnership,” in a phone call with the head of the European Commission Cabinet Bjoern Seibert on Thursday, according to a White House statement.

Sulllivan and Seibert “agreed to work together on issues of mutual concern, including China and Turkey.”