Turkey lashes out at Syria over massacre

Turkey lashes out at Syria over massacre

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey lashes out at Syria over massacre

Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç.

Turkey strongly condemned Syria for mass killings of dissidents in Homs in southern Syria late Feb. 3 and described its rulers as “illegitimate” while strongly criticizing Russia and China for vetoing a United Nations Security Council resolution against Damascus.

“We wish that this mistake would be corrected as soon as possible and the international community as a whole would stand with the Syrian people and be on the right side of history at these challenges being faced in Syria,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement released late Feb. 4. “It is extremely difficult to comprehend why this constructive resolution, which was co-sponsored also by Turkey and contained no more than the general support to the efforts of the Arab League, has been rejected.”

Turkey strongly condemned the killings that it called “massacre” and said, “The shelling by a country’s official security forces of its own cities constitutes the most concrete indication that the government of that country has totally lost its legitimacy to rule. We condemn in the strongest possible terms and reprobate this massacre.” The statement called on the international community to shoulder the responsibility.

Deputy PM calls on Iran to raise voice against Syria

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç yesterday called on Iran, Lebanon and Iraq to raise their voices against violence in Syria or “remove ‘Islam’ from their country’s name,” speaking to journalists in Turkey’s western province of Bursa.

“I want to learn how Iran and Lebanon react to this incident [of violence]. Does Iraq feel sorrow? I want to hear that. If they do not raise their voices, then they have to remove the word ‘Islam’ from their names,” said Arınç, adding that the Syrian government should be isolated from the international community, Anatolia news agency reported yesterday.

Arınç said Turkey cannot remain silent to what is happening in Syria. He said the crackdown on civilians seemed to continue and Turkey would do its share about the issue. Arınç also said yesterday the only hope for the Syrian people is Turkey and Turkish people. Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ called on the Syrian government to step down, speaking to journalists in Holland. Bozdağ said there was a need for restructuring in Syria according to people’s demands. Separately, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said yesterday that Turkey and Arab League should assume a central role in establishment of a contact group in overcoming Syria crisis.

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