The fourth Cabinet meeting chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan began at the Presidential Palace on Monday afternoon, where security threats from neighboring Syria topped the agenda.
The presence of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) militant group in Syria and Iraq and its threat to Turkey's national security was reportedly discussed in detail. The possible refugee influx from Syria and the current conditions of some 1.8 million Syrians who already reside in Turkey were also among the discussed issues. After the meeting, Erdoğan was scheduled to have an iftar (fast-breaking) dinner with Cabinet members, many of whom will reportedly not be included in the next Cabinet when it is formed if the parties agree to form a coalition government.
The Cabinet convened at 3:00 p.m. on Monday afternoon. Erdoğan chaired the meeting, the fourth time he has done so as president since he was elected last August.Erdoğan became the first president elected by popular vote last August and he vowed to use all the powers granted to him by the Constitution. According to the Constitution, the president is the head of state and can preside over Cabinet meetings if he or she deems it necessary. Although previous presidents such as Turgut Özal and Süleyman Demirel were elected by Parliament, they only used their constitutional power to chair Cabinet meetings occasionally. Özal chaired Cabinet meetings from time to time and his successor, Demirel, chaired a Cabinet meeting once. In response to allegations that Erdoğan's chairing of Cabinet meetings would decrease the powers of the prime minister, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said in a televised interview that this is not the case and that there would be no changes in the prime minister's or president's powers.