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POLITICS > Turkey’s doors open to ‘all fleeing Syrians’

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Triggering a new balance on Syria after a double-veto at the UN Security Council, Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoğlu declares that Turkey’s doors are open to ‘all Syrians who want to flee from oppression’ at home

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Turkish police use tear gas to disperse Syrian protesters as they try to enter the Syrian Consulate in Istanbul yesterday. REUTERS photo

Turkish police use tear gas to disperse Syrian protesters as they try to enter the Syrian Consulate in Istanbul yesterday. REUTERS photo

Murat Yetkin Murat Yetkin murat.yetkin@hdn.com.tr

Reacting to the Russian and Chinese veto to a United Nations Security Council resolution to stop killings of civilians by Syrian security sources, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Turkey’s doors are “open to all Syrians who want to flee from opression”.

“We are ready to host them at our homes if necessary” Davutoğlu added, as a part of a new stage to step up pressure on the Beshar al-Assad regime.

The move is intresting since Turkey has announced that there could be only two conditions for Turkish involvement into military action into the Syrian situation; a UN Security Council decision based on humanitarian reasoning and a massive flood of refugees to Turkey.

“Syrian people should not be victimized by a power game between the permanent members of the UN Security Council." 
- Ahmet Davutoğlu


Yet Turkish Foreign Ministry has issued a written statement on Sunday categorically denying media reports that Turkey and the U.S.A. have agreed on a military action plan on Syria in Saturday’s meeting in Munich between Davutoğlu and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Davutoğlu made no comment on US Senator Joseph Lieberman’s statement who said that his country might consider to provide weapons to a ‘Free Syrian Army’ consisting of defectors from Syrian army, as the military wing of the Istanbul based Syrian National Council.

With this move of welcoming Syrian regime opponents in need, Turkey wants to trigger a new ballance as Russian Foreign Minister Seygei Lavrov has planned contacts in Damacus to convince Assad to stop violence against his own people. “We don’t want to lose our hopes and we don’t want to let Syrian people down” Davutoğlu said, “But Lavrov should have done this months ago.”

Turkish top diplomat explains the latest move as follows: “Syrian people should not be victimized by a power game between the permanent members of the UN Security Council. The UN resoulition which was proposed by Arap Leage and Turkey who are affected by the Syrian crisis, were vetoed by those who are not directly related with it; its an ethical and legalistic weakness regarding international politics. But if the International Community prefers to remain silent before this human tragedy, Turkey continues to do whatever is necessary.”

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu says Turkey’s
doors are open to neighboring Syrians who are fleeing
government persecution. AFP photo

‘One minute’ revisited over arrested journalists

Kenneth Roth, the head of the Human Rights Watch said in his statement to the Munich Security Conference, touched to the issue of Turkey as a model for Middle East countries in transition. “Good news is that Islam is not used in order to put pressure on people” Roth said; “But not that a democratic model when it comes to the issue of the arrest of Kurdish activists and journalists”.

At the end of the ‘Building the Middle East News’ panel, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu asked the moderator Josef Joffe of Die Zeit (who was criticized because of his moderating performance) to have a word to answer Roth.

“But one minute, one minute” said said Joffe. “All right, one minute” Davutoğlu said, “But you know what ‘one minute’ means, don’t you?” Davutoğlu joked to Joffe; reminding Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan’s Davos remark in 2009 when he had been interrupted as he was trying to answer President Shimon Peres of Israel.

Repeated the government line of there was no one in jail because of his or her journalism activities Davutoğlu told journalists that later on he with Roth during the brake and invited him to Turkey to observe the situation himself. 

Tawakkul Karman. AP photo

Nobel Laurate from Yemen asked for Turkey’s support

Nobel peace award laurate Tawakkul Karman of Yemen had a statement to the conference and got one of the best applause when she asked full equality for women, besides freedom for peoples of the region.

Following the conference, Davutoğlu met with Karman and congragulated because of speech and said Turkey supported the ‘Yemen revolution’.

In return Karman (who is appearently have links with Karaman town in central Turkey) said that Yemeni’s looking for a better future demanded more support from Turkey and disappointed because of not having enough. Admitting that Turkey has focused in the problem of the immediate neighbour (Syria), that dis not mean that Turkey did stop supporting the Yemeni people after their rights.

Karman also asked those who heavily injured in demonstrations to be treated in Turkey and Yemeni strudents to have scholarsips in Turkish education system. Davutoğlu invited Tawakkul Kamran, her husband Mohammad and their three kids to Turkey, promising to take them to town of Karman and double Turkish citizenship if they wanted.

February/05/2012

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