MIDEAST > Syria rebels criticize self and Turkey

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

Syrian opposition groups critique themselves in Istanbul while reviewing the movement’s situation and complaining that Turkey is ‘slow’ to take action

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Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood begins a meeting in Silivri focusing on ways to support the uprising against the regime.DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK

Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood begins a meeting in Silivri focusing on ways to support the uprising against the regime.DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK

Erdem Güneş Erdem Güneş erdem.gunes@hdn.com.tr

The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood group held its general assembly in Istanbul yesterday to review the movement’s present situation and criticized Turkey for being “slow” to take action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian National Council (SNC) and other anti-regime groups also took part in the two-day meeting, which was the second general assembly of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, 20 years after the 1982 Hama Massacre.

Mohamad Faruq Tayfur, an executive member of the SNC, said this meeting was an evaluation for them and was very crucial to the movement. “We will see where we made mistakes and where we gained ground. From there we will continue our resistance,” Tayfur told the Hürriyet Daily News.

Another member of the movement said the subjects of the meeting included the form of the government, role of women and youth in the movement and national cohesiveness. Tayfur also said Turkey’s contribution to the opposition was limited to “humanitarian aid [tent cities in the border area],” unlike the perception in Turkey. “We do not desire to get Turkey into trouble in internal politics, but I want to say, when the massacres broke out in Syria, Turkey raised its voice but then turned it down. Turkey acts how the international community acts.”

Molham Aldrobi, a leading member of the Brotherhood, said the purpose of the general assembly is to discuss strategic items for the movement regarding the revolution in Syria and interim period after al-Assad.

Al-Assad’s last card: Alawite state

Aldrobi mentioned the latest killings in Tremseh, which reportedly claimed over 100 lives last week, adding that the massacres drew the border lines of al-Assad’s future Alawite state. “If you follow the geographical positions of the massacres you will discover that they are somehow forming the border that is expected to [outline an] Alawite state in future. Bashar is playing the game of the sectarian civil war and his last card is if he feels that things are tied he will escape to the Alawite mountain to establish his own state,” he said.

“This is something very serious; this is a threat not only to Syria, this is a threat to Turkey and the region. Everybody should work to [prevent it].”

Claim over downed jet

Aldrobi also said al-Assad had tested Turkey’s capabilities by downing the Turkish jet. Turkey will take the right action, but the opposition considers Turkey’s decision-making slow, he added.

“The Turkish government needs to do more because al-Assad is a threat to the national security of Turkey. We want the international community including the Israelis to make sure that they stand on the right side.” He claimed that the Turkish jet was not downed by Russia but with its arms by the Syrian Army.


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7/18/2012 10:00:43 AM

@MURAT, the Syrian people are with Assad, about 70-80%, otherwise your beloved "freedom fighters" would have had the whole country on their side, i don't like your leader but does that give me the right to take up arms against him? BTW did you know the Syrian president will allow free elections once the country is stable, but the likes of you don't want that, why? because you know very well the outcome, and that is the president will win hands down, who gives any country the right to tell interf


7/18/2012 12:27:49 AM

Hard truth is Syrian people will need to do the heavy lifting here. Turkey has done more than what most others have done, materially and otherwise but it can not be expected to participate directly and unilaterally in a civil war raging next door. For that to happen things have to get a lot worse I am afraid. Where is the Arab League? That is the question they should be asking.

The Lion

7/17/2012 7:12:26 PM

I wish the FSA well and I have no qualms with Turkiye taking direct intervention to restore rightful rule to the 70 % of Syria's population that are Sunni Arabs but some ground rules need to be laid first: 1. kurdish nationalism, that false invention of Russian imperialists, needs to be completely wiped out in Syria. 2. the privileged status of orthodox christians in Syria needs to end. 3. Any French influence in Syria needs to be erased. 4. Equal rights for Circassians and Turkmen.

US Observer

7/17/2012 1:37:10 PM

Yet another example of how esculated rhetoric on behalf the Turkish government is being used against it. I'm sure the "tough talk" by the PM gave the Syrian rebels hope, it's no wonder they are bitter.

Engin Atik

7/17/2012 7:50:56 AM

Muslim Brotherhood is a political faction that is fundamentally against the enlightenment and modernity. This ideology favors faith over reason, male dominance over equality of sexes, stoning for blasphemy over freedom of speech, dogma over scientific method etc. Not a worthy cause to support.

Dennis Kavaz

7/17/2012 7:40:26 AM

The democratic morals that the S.N.C is desperately sicking to achieve is difficult; it is complex because Syria as Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia, have let the (undemocratic) process to continue far too long; all the Arab uprisings should have escalated long ego; most blame lays with those peoples for not signifying to show (earlier) that the masses were unhappy with the (undemocratic) systems. Blaming Turkey or anyone ells for that matter is unwarranted.

Eric Martin

7/17/2012 2:04:16 AM

Give the trusted members of FSA the weapons they need. They need stronger weapons to stop tanks and artillery.
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