Turkey launches humanitarian campaign for besieged Aleppo
AFP photoAnkara has launched a humanitarian campaign for war-torn Aleppo amid the Syrian regime’s intensified military offensive aiming to capture the remaining parts of city from rebel groups and serious accusations of attacks on civilians.
The campaign titled “Do not let humanity die in Aleppo,” under the coordination of the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) and the Religious Foundation of Turkey, was announced on Dec. 8 at a meeting with the participation of Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş.
“This is not just the announcement of an aid campaign. This is raising a voice against the destruction of Aleppo, which is one of the most beautiful cities in the region with its historical and geopolitical importance, the destruction of our culture in Aleppo, and most importantly the destruction of humanity that is dying in despair, hunger and in vein,” Kurtulmuş said.
“Politically, many meetings have been held about how this issue has come to this point. Negotiations are in progress so that a solution can be found,” he added.
Kurtulmuş also criticized the “futile efforts” and “indifference” of the international community to humanitarian problems in the Muslim world.
“We will continue to say that the world is bigger than five,” he said, referring to the Turkish government’s motto against the limits of the five-member U.N. Security Council.
“The international community should decisively make an effort to establish a lasting peace and ensure that humanitarian aid is delivered to Aleppo as soon as possible. As Turkey, we are actively involved in both phases,” he said. In order to solve all these problems, the people of the Islamic world also need to demonstrate their will to solve their own problems,” he added.
Regime ‘committing crimes against humanity’
İbrahim Kalın, the spokesperson of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, also expressed anger at the Bashar al-Assad regime’s military offensive against civilians in Aleppo at a press conference on Dec. 8.
“Developments in Aleppo seriously concern us. The regime is openly committing crimes against humanity and war crimes in Aleppo,” Kalın said.
Recalling al-Assad’s recent statements to the international media, Kalın said the Syrian president had made clear that the regime was “not open to any formula for a ceasefire in the city.”
He also referred ongoing talks between Ankara and Moscow on the issue, stressing that the Turkish government’s efforts for a ceasefire will continue.