Ankara, Nov 10 () - World leaders and others will enjoy full security and comfort during next week’s G-20 Summit that will be held in the Belek resort of Antalya on the Mediterranean coast, a presidential spokesman has said.
“Some 35 or 36 delegations, including the world’s 20 most prominent countries and other delegations, as well as heads of state, will be here. The highest-level security measures have already been taken. We don’t see any security weakness,” said İbrahim Kalın, a spokesperson for the Turkish presidency who is responsible for coordinating the G-20 Summit to be held on Nov. 15 and 16 in Turkey.
The world’s 19 leading economies and the European Union that constitute the G-20 organization, as well as some invited countries like Azerbaijan, Singapore and Spain, will join the summit in which Turkey will hand over the term presidency to China. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the heads of the IMF, World Bank and other international organizations will also be present at the summit.
Kalın said President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would soon go to Antalya to inspect measures taken in the field, recalling that a safe zone had been created around the region in which the summit will occur.
“As a result of our talks with [participating] countries, all measures have been taken. We hope that we’ll hold this summit in the most successful way in the safe zone around Belek in the province of Antalya. All measures, cyber and physical, have been taken,” he said.
Logistical infrastructure has already been accomplished, Kalın said. “We are hopeful and expecting that we’ll crown our term presidency with this summit that will aid in the revival of a fruitful, successful global economy.”
Fight against ISIL in Turkey
To keep the G-20 Summit safe, the Turkish police and the army have taken extraordinary measures in recent months. The overall measures include internal and external security measures.
As for the internal security, Turkish police have intensified their efforts to crack down on the cells of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) across Turkey. A recent police operation in and around the Antalya region resulted in the detention of dozens of ISIL sympathizers. The Interior Ministry expanded the scope of its operations against ISIL, especially after the organization committed twin suicide bombing attacks in Ankara early October. Measures also include the Antalya Airport at which all leaders’ planes will land.
Thousands of police officers will be stationed in and around the safe zone to prevent any potential protesters from reaching the summit area.
External measures in the air, on the sea
Turkey has also revised all of its measures to keep the world leaders under a strong security umbrella during the summit. Both the Turkish Armed Forces and the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) have been alerted ahead of the summit and have taken measures accordingly.
Along with ground protection, the leaders will also be protected from the air as the Awacs (Airborne Warning and Control) will fly over the region together with Turkish jetfighters. The United States recently deployed F15 warplanes to Turkey’s İncirlik Airbase and are reportedly ready to provide additional protection if necessary.
Leaders will also be protected from the sea as the Turkish Navy will deploy its vessels to Antalya Bay to patrol around the clock. Along with Turkish vessels, the guided missile destroyer US Donald Cook will also be in the region during and after the G-20 Summit.