A new seating order marked Thursday's National Security Council (MGK) meeting, in which civilian and military members of the council sat on both sides of the table in accordance with the order required by state protocol as opposed to previous years in which military members sat in a bloc on one side of the table.
President Abdullah Gül chaired the MGK meeting at the Çankaya presidential palace and sat at the head of the table as the chairman of the council, just like in previous years. The change concerned the distribution of seats among civilian and military members of the council.
In previous meetings, the General Staff and force commanders used to sit together on the left side of the table in accordance with their rank, while the prime minister, deputy prime ministers and state ministers sat on the right side.
The former order was contrary to state protocol as state ministers who in actually rank higher the force commanders were seated farther down the table than the military commanders.
The change in the seating order at the MGK signals yet another step towards normalization of civilian-military relations in Turkey as in the previous seating order state protocol was being bypassed.
The new seating order follows a similar change at the latest Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) earlier this month. Unlike past YAŞ meetings in which the prime minister and chief of General Staff sat together at the head of the table, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sat alone at the head of the table this year, which was interpreted as a strong sign of normalization in civilian-military relations in Turkey and a sign of civilian authority's superiority over the military.
Cihan news agencyLast Mod: 19 Ağustos 2011, 11:09