Turkey's Erdoğan strongly warns Syria against border violations
DHA photoTurkey warned Syria today not to repeat border violations, implying that it could use force to protect its border and call on NATO to respond to a potential Syrian attack.
“We have strong armed forces. We will carefully continue to take steps to this end. But Syria must be aware of the fact that in the event of a repetition of these border violations, Turkey’s stance will not be the same,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in an interview with Al-Jazeera, Anatolia news agency reported.
The border violation Erdoğan referred to took place two weeks ago when Syrian security forces opened fire on Syrians fleeing to Turkey. Turkey brought the case before the international community, which denounced Syrian forces’ attack.
“In the event of the continuation of border violations, we will take necessary steps as a NATO country.
When we take this step, Article 5 of NATO, which counts an attack on a member country as one made against all the alliance, will be activated. I hope things will not go to that point,” he said.
Although he expressed his support and optimism for the full implementation of the Annan plan, the Turkish prime minister said 2,000 to 3,000 observers were needed to monitor the cease-fire across the Arab republic. “If the plan fails, I am of the opinion that a very important duty awaits the U.N. Security Council.”
Al-Assad rule not humane, not Islamic
What Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been doing against his own people for more a year does not comply with either humanitarian principles or Islam, he said.
“We have never been hostile against the Syrian people. We do not accept what Bashar al-Assad is doing. We are the enemy of what al-Assad is doing. … This is a product of an autocratic understanding. It’s impossible for us to accept such a regime,” he said.
Affirming that Turkey would continue to be on the side of the Syrian National Council, Erdoğan said Turkey would never close its doors to Syrians fleeing “brutal crackdowns” by the Syrian security forces. “We have to do whatever necessary to stop the bloodshed. This is an obligation in the name of both humanity and Islam.”
Criticizing the Syrian regime and press for calling Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar “hostile countries,” Erdoğan said the accusation contradicted Damascus’ efforts to build ties with the three countries in the past. “What changed that these three countries have now become enemies?”