ANKARA (AA) – Under its new government, Turkey will have five priorities – economic growth, ending terrorism in the southeast, a new constitution, new foreign policy approaches, and ensuring social cohesion – said the government spokesman Monday.
Fresh off winning a vote of confidence in parliament, the new government held its first cabinet meeting Monday chaired by new PM Binali Yildirim in the capital Ankara.
“This new government can be called a ‘reform, breakthrough, and action government’,” Deputy Prime Minister and spokesman Numan Kurtulmus told reporters after the meeting.
“Turkey will achieve a production revolution during the 65th government and will become the world's 10th-largest economy,” he pledged.
On terrorism, he reiterated, “There will be no tolerance for the terrorist organization [PKK] that would harm the unity of our nation". He stressed that they will end terrorism as an issue.
“The new government aims to wipe out the scourge of terrorism and will establish peace again.”
Kurtulmus emphasized that the new government will ensure a lasting solution to terrorism “by any means necessary”.
Kurtulmus also gave the latest figures on damage in Turkey’s southeast in the wake of terrorist actions there.
Kurtulmus said that according to an Environment Ministry report, 6,320 buildings were damaged amid the fighting in five southeastern towns, including Sur, Silopi, Cizre, Idil, and Yuksekova, while at least 11,000 apartments were affected. He estimated the cost of demolishing and rebuilding the affected structures in those districts at approximately 855 million Turkish lira ($289 million).
The PKK – listed as a terrorist organization also by the U.S. and the EU – resumed its 30-year armed campaign against the Turkish state in July 2015.
Since then, more than 500 members of the security forces, including soldiers, police officers, and village guards, have been martyred, and over 4,900 PKK terrorists killed in operations across Turkey and northern Iraq.
On other goals, Kurtulmus said that a new constitution and adopting a presidential system will be among the new government’s priorities.
Turkey’s current constitution came into effect in the wake of a 1980 military coup, and the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party has long called for a "democratic, participatory and pluralistic” new constitution.
“We will complete all political reforms that were promised before,” said Kurtulmus.
As for foreign policy, he said that they will find new ideas to solve “gradually worsening foreign policy problems” and contribute to peace and stability in the region, and the world at large.
“Our goal in foreign policy is to find new perspectives to solve ongoing problems and to ensure lasting peace.”
Touching on social cohesion, Kurtulmus said that the new government respects all different faiths, sects, and ethnic backgrounds.
Asked about early election rumors, he said the government has no plans for early polls.