Turkish Foreign Ministry bans use of cell phones on premises after leak

Turkish Foreign Ministry bans use of cell phones on premises after leak
# 04 April 2014 05:19 (UTC +04:00)

Diplomats and other ministry personnel will not be allowed to carry their cell phones inside the ministry and, in addition, the meetings to be held in the ministry will take place in a cell phone-free environment, theHürriyet Daily News has learned.

The move is part of a substantial plan to tighten the security inside the ministry which is expected to be implemented soon when accomplished.

Turkey was shocked last week after a recording of a high-level security meeting on Syria at the Foreign Ministry was leaked through social media, with all government officials calling it “espionage.” An Ankaraprosecutor launched a probe into the incident on spying charges, while a detailed investigation is also being carried out by the National Intelligence Organization (MÄ°T). Along with Foreign Minister Ahmet DavutoÄŸlu, MÄ°T chief Hakan Fidan, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun SinirlioÄŸlu and deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. YaÅŸar Gürel were present at the meeting.

Initial findings of the investigation revealed that the espionage was from inside the ministry. President Abdullah Gül, talking to reporters traveling with him to Kuwait, confirmed that it was perpetrated from inside the ministry, implying that it could bring about a purge at the ministry upon the foreign minister’s initiative.



Scrutinize measures



Deputy Foreign Minister Naci Koru confirmed to the Daily News that efforts were underway to tighten security inside the ministry and its premises elsewhere. “We were already very careful on these issues, but this incident has shown that we have to scrutinize security measures we have been implementing,” Koru said.



Koru did not give details of the new security precautions to be taken but underlined that it will be a substantial one that focuses on document and communication security, the confidentiality of meetings and the physical security of the premises.

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THE OPERATION IS BEING PERFORMED