Turkey not far away from war: Erdoğan
Prepare for war if you wish for peace, Prime Minister Erdoğan says amid the ongoing tension between Turkey and Syria after the latter’s shelling killed five in the former. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL
Turkey is not seeking a war, but must be prepared for war if it wants peace since it is not far away from a conflict, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Oct. 5 following a killer shelling from Syria hit the country.
“We are not war-lovers, but we are not far from war either,” Erdoğan said, speaking at an event in Istanbul. “The saying goes: ‘prepare for war if you wish for peace.’ So war becomes the key for peace.”
The Turkish Parliament voted in favor of a motion which gave green light to the government to stage cross-border raids on Syria after the Oct. 3 shelling from there killed five Turkish citizens. “I am calling once more on the al-Assad regime and its supporters: Don’t dare to test Turkey’s patience,” Erdoğan said, adding that testing Turkey’s capacity for deterrence would be “a fatal mistake.”
“We are not bluffing and we will follow this incident closely. God willing, the Syrian people would soon be saved from this cruelty and governed by an administration that guarantees the rights of all parties.”
The Turkish government has signaled it intends to use the parliamentary mandate as a trump card to deter the Syrian regime.
“Turkey is not a country eager for war, or which wants war. We are always for peace. This should not be considered a motion of war. Turkey is at the same time a great country capable of protecting its own rights, the rights of its own citizens and its borders,” Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay said. “This motion is an instrument and an opportunity in regards to both deterrence and being prepared for probable developments.”
Speaking to reporters in Malatya on Oct. 5, Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek touched on objections that have been raised to Parliament’s approval of the government’s motion. “God willing, there will be no need to fulfill the requirements of that motion. The Syrian administration and its supporters are already a powder keg,” Çiçek was quoted as saying by Anatolia news agency. “Turkey’s deterrent power has been put forth. There was a need for this,” Mehmet Şandır, the deputy chair of the Nationalist Movement Party’s (MHP) parliamentary group, which supported the motion, said in Ankara. If the motion had been passed only with votes from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), its message would be weak, Şandır said.