Antalya, Turkey - The Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) hosted the inaugural meeting of the Protection of Soft Targets in a Counterterrorism Context Initiative in Antalya, Turkey.

Over the past year, there have been widespread terrorist attacks by ISIL/Da’esh and al-Qa’ida-affiliated groups, as well as other terrorist organizations including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, against soft targets, including hotels, restaurants, stadiums, and other public spaces. Attacks in Bamako, Brussels, Grand-Bassam, Istanbul, Ouagadougou, Paris, and elsewhere underscore the clear human, economic, and political consequences of these types of attacks and demonstrate the need for improved international preparedness focused on soft target protection.

Turkey and the United States launched this initiative at the GCTF Seventh Ministerial Plenary Meeting in Istanbul on December 8-9. The initiative aims to raise awareness, identify needs, and leverage expertise to better protect potential soft targets. The initiative also works to develop a set of internationally-recognized, non-binding good practices to guide international engagement to enhance the security of the soft targets.

The GCTF will lead these efforts through a series of practitioner-level regional workshops to be convened in 2017. Participants will include representatives of governments and local administrations.