Turkey's PM calls security meeting snoop 'villainous'
Thursday, March 27, 2014
DIYARBAKIR - Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday slammed leaked spying on a security meeting and described it as an act of "immorality, villainy, abjectness, and ignominy" during an election rally in southeastern province of Diyarbakir.
A recording that appeared Thursday on video-sharing website Youtube showed spying on a high-level security meeting of Turkish officials as they discussed threats against the Turkish territory in Syria, which is home to a symbolically-important tomb of Suleyman Shah.
The confidential meeting was held between Turkey's intelligence agency chief Hakan Fidan, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Deputy Chief of General Staff Yasar Guler.
A statement from the Turkish Foreign Ministry called the eavesdroppers "enemies of the state,” who “will be punished in the most severe manner.”
"Eavesdropping on a top secret meeting and leaking its recording is a wretched attack and a grave affront on national security," the statement added.
Condemning the illegal eavesdropping, Deputy Prime Minister Emrullah Isler said, "Spying on a meeting about the national security is an ignominious attack. If it is not an act of treason, what else can it be?"
Speaking to the press in Turkey’s central Anatolian province of Sivas, Turkey’s Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz said spying on a security meeting between senior Turkish officials was "counter-intelligence against the state," adding it was unacceptable and the Turkish judiciary will take action concerning the issue.
The tomb of Suleyman Shah is currently under threat due to the rise in fighting between the Syrian opposition and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, in the area.
Protected by Turkish troops, the tomb -- Turkey's only exclave -- and the surrounding area are located in Aleppo's Manbij district, approximately 30 km from the Turkish border.
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