Turkish PM to Assad: Learn from Mubarak’s fate
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (L) and his wife Emine Erdoğan wave to the supporters of the AKP at the ruling party’s provincial congress in Şanlıurfa. AA PhotoSyrian President Bashar al-Assad should take a lesson from the sentence of life imprisonment that was meted out to Egypt’s ex-president Hosni Mubarak on June 2, Turkey’s prime minister said yesterday, while accusing al-Assad of “autocracy.”
Asked whether al-Assad should take any lessons from Mubarak’s trial, Erdoğan said, “he should probably [take a lesson].” “So far, I haven’t seen him approach reforms with a democratic understanding. He still approaching issues with an autocratic approach,” Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told reporters in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa yesterday. It was very difficult to achieve peace in Syria as long as this approach continued, he said.
Erdoğan’s remarks came as a response to al-Assad, who praised May 7 elections in Syria during a parliamentary speech yesterday. The election could not be considered fair in comparison to other polls around the world, Erdoğan said, noting that the Syrian opposition boycotted the process. “Al-Assad never practiced politics in Syria. He has done whatever he wants,” Erdoğan said. “This is not an election.” Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said a massacre committed by Syrian security forces in Houla on May 25 had gone down as a black stain in human history. Following calls by Turkey and a group of other countries, the U.N. Human Rights Council held a special session in Geneva to discuss the massacre. The council strongly condemned the violence against civilians, the ministry said, demanding a special investigation into the massacre.
Syria reopens border gate
Damascus, meanwhile, has reopened the Tellebyat border gate with Turkey after closing it on Dec. 7, 2011 for “repair work,” Anatolia news agency reported. Following a request from Syrians, Tellebyat Gate Chief Gen. Heysen Muhammed Suleyman and Akçakale District Gov. Şefik Aygöl held meetings four days ago and agreed to reopen the crossing. Nearly 400 Syrians poured into Turkey over the weekend, a Turkish official said June 2, according to Agence France-Presse.