Turkey supports 'democratic demands' in Arab world: foreign minister
ATHENS - Agence France-Presse
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu (L) and Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos (R) in a news conference in Athens October 10, 2012. AA PhotoTurkey supports the "democratic demands" of people in Arab countries, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said today in a reference to the Syria conflict, during a visit to Athens.
"As democratic countries, we provide support to the democratic demands of peoples in Arab countries," Davutoğlu said after talks with his Greek counterpart Dimitris Avramopoulos.
Turkey and Syria have been firing artillery and mortars across their volatile border since last week, with every shell fired by Syrian troops met with retaliation from Turkish border units.
Avramopoulos said Greece supported its NATO ally and called for a political solution to the Syrian crisis.
"There must be a de-escalation," Avramopoulos said.
"We condemn and frown upon any violation of a state's sovereignty, wherever it comes from," the Greek foreign minister said.
Earlier today, Turkey's top military commander warned of a stronger response if Syrian shells continued to land on Turkish soil, the private NTV television network reported.
"We have retaliated (for Syrian shelling) and if it continues, we'll respond more strongly," Armed forces chief of staff General Necdet Ozel said in Akcakale, a border town where five civilians were killed by Syrian shelling last week.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has led international calls for President Bashar al-Assad to quit, has said Turkey has no intention of starting a war with Syria but warned the regime in Damascus not to push Turkey's limits.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned Monday of a growing risk that the conflict in Syria, now in its 19th month, could spill over into neighbouring Turkey and Lebanon.