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POLITICS > Reyhanlı blasts intend to drag Turkey into a 'bloody swamp' in Syria: PM Erdoğan

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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addresses his supporters in a Mother's Day event organized by his party in Istanbul. Erdoğan argued that Turkey's patience was being tested with the Reyhanlı attack but urged vigilance. REUTERS photo

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addresses his supporters in a Mother's Day event organized by his party in Istanbul. Erdoğan argued that Turkey's patience was being tested with the Reyhanlı attack but urged vigilance. REUTERS photo

The deadly blasts in the southern town of Reyhanlı near the Syrian border, which killed 46 people, reflect an intention to drag Turkey into a "bloody swamp" in Syria, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said May 12, adding that the attack aimed to "disrupt Turkey's peace," urging vigilance against "provocations." 

"The purpose of these attacks is to give opportunities to those who collaborate with the Baath regime. These are attacks intending to provoke those who leave in peace, especially in the Hatay [province]," Erdoğan said.

The Hatay enclave is home to many minorities living together, including Nusayris and Kurds who have family links with Syria.

"Turkey's patience and composure is being tested. They want to drag Turkey into a filthy scenario. But we will not fall into this trap," Erdoğan said. 

The prime minister warned against any retaliation attacks against Syrian refugees, saying this would only serve the interests of those who perpetrated the attack. "If there is a single attack against a Syrian guest, even only verbal, the attackers will win," he said.

Criticizing the government is 'opportunism'

The Turkish prime minister also slammed the opposition parties that called on the government to review its internal and foreign policies following the Reyhanlı attack. Describing as "opportunism" any attempt to criticize the government on the matter, Erdoğan said such accusations could only "play into the hands" of Turkey's enemies. "It is not time to find those responsible inside the country. Trying to seek political gain from this [attack] is unscrupulous," he added.

Erdoğan insisted that he would rather drop his prime minister office than shut his eyes to the babies being killed in Syria, adding that he could not give an account to God if he did so. "I saw with my wife the photographs in the newspapers, images from Banias in Syria that afflict one's spirit. We cried when we saw those babies martyred in their mother's arms. Those who defend the actors of the regime that perpetrated this massacre cannot explain this to the Turkish people or to humanity," he said.

Erdoğan also dismissed criticism that the government's policies on Syria were based on the Justice and Development Party's (AKP) or his own personal position. "The issue in Syria is not the AKP's or Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's, but Turkey's issue. The plane that was shot down [on June 2012] was not the AKP's, but Turkey's plane," he said.

May/12/2013

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ilker avni

5/13/2013 11:55:04 PM

American military budget cut,CIA budget increased, covert operations by the CIA expanded,Obama has joined the NEO CONS and the Zionists,American lives have never been put in harms way to protect Muslims only to kill them,America stays silent to so called terroists acts in Afganistan,Pakistan and Iraq and now it has spread to involve Turkey,Syria,Libya all over the Islamic World they is muslims killing muslims which is the agenda of the NEO CONs in America and the Zionists in Israel.

ilker avni

5/13/2013 11:17:21 PM

Every Islamic country seem to be a victim of terroists,Turkey,Afganistan,Iraq,Syria,Pakistan,Libya and so on,i find it hard not to think that this has a lot to do with American CIA covert operations to destablize these countries,Sunnies blowing up Shias and Shiites blowing up Sunnies,its easy to come to the conclusion that some how America and its Zionists ally are behind these so called terroists incidents.Obama cut the military budget but increased the CIA budget why?.

Blue Dotterel

5/13/2013 8:08:19 PM

Perhaps, Erdogan should "drop his office", since he has considerable responsibility for contributing to the dying babies at the hands of the "rebels" he actively supports. That the AKP leadership is using Turkey to fight against Assad's secular independent state in support of Israel and US imperialism is plain for all to see.

Erdogan Erdogan

5/13/2013 7:44:32 PM

@anton supertramp - If you would know to count you would see that I am write .Every day in Iraq and Syria and Afganistan and Pakistan and Libya and....and.....100-200 Muslems are being killd by Muslems not by American/Israely drons so stpo with your hate propagnda ,it is time for Muslems to look at themself and not to blame others .Only then they will be better.

Ed Frias Ed Frias

5/13/2013 4:15:29 PM

John Smith probably believes Bush was behind the 9/11 attacks. 4000 Jews didn't show up at the World Trade Center on 9/11. Mossad Sharks are killing tourists in Egypt and Mossad vultures are spying on Saudi Arabia. Smith also believes the Jews killed JFK, sank the Titanic, started WW2 and killed the dinosaurs.

anton supertramp

5/13/2013 2:48:35 PM

@erdoğan lets take alook at it,america killed afew million iraqis, thousands in afghanistan yemen and hundred with drone strikes in pakistan,,israelis killed thousand of palestinians now if this huge number is just one percent of your equation then rest of 99 means muslims killed give or take around 400 500 million muslims which is one third of total muslims of world,i salute your wisdom...

Danny B Danny

5/13/2013 2:21:38 PM

This is result of prime minister Erdogan's adopting the scorpion nests Hamas Hezbulla and Asad in the past. All of them supported and trained by Iran. As long it was done against Israeli Civilian they were considered by pm Erdogan as Freedom Fighters. Now it turned against his own people and it hurts. Of course they are murderers. (unless its against Jewish targets).

R Collins

5/13/2013 2:07:18 PM

First, try to be friends w/Assad. Then denounce him for the dictator that he is & advocate his overthrow but don't do much to achieve that goal. Denounce a mass murder and mourn killings of innocents in Syria but take no meaningful action to end the violence. Someone can't reconcile conflicting goals - something leaders need to do. There is a problem with a neighbor and rhetoric won't resolve the challenge.

Erdogan Erdogan

5/13/2013 1:03:19 PM

@John Smith When for once you look into your country and not blaming allways ather (CIA and Mossad) .Only when the Muslems will look for problems inside they will coreckt them if you will blame others you will stay with the problems... 99% of the killing of Muslems are by other Muslems.

Recep Ozel

5/13/2013 1:03:14 PM

Erdoğan has dragged Turkey into the bloody swamp that he created in Syria!! We have PKK terrorists apparently retreating in the East and FSA Terrorists using Hatay as their base to bring down Syria. When you do business with Terrorists, look at what happens!!! The AKP-BDP-PKK-FSA partnership needs to end now!!
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