Ankara, July 7 () - Turkey’s cabinet convened on July 6 under the leadership of President Tayyip Erdoğan to discuss growing tension on the Turkish-Syrian border, amid the advance of jihadist militants in northwestern Syria that could trigger another massive refugee influx.
The new Defense Minister Vecdi Gönül was present at the meeting.
Erdoğan first hosted the cabinet meeting and then a fast-breaking dinner in order to bid farewell to the outgoing members of the cabinet. He is expected to officially give the mandate to form a new government to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu later this week.
The most important item on the cabinet meeting agenda was the sensitive situation on the border with Syria, after the Turkish military reinforced its troops in the region to counter any move that could threaten border security.
Among many others, Turkey’s two main concerns are the Syrian Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) ambition to establish its own entity along the Turkish border and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL) move to attack areas under control of the Free Syrian Army in northwestern Syria.
Turkey fears another massive refugee influx as a result of ISIL aggression against Arabs and Turkmens.
Before the cabinet meeting, new Defense Minister Gönül met separately with Prime Minister Davutoğlu and Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel.