Turkey warns against testing its power after border blasts

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. (Photo: AA)

May 11, 2013, Saturday/ 16:04:00

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu warned against testing Turkey's power after car bombs killed at least 40 people in a town on the Syrian border on Saturday, saying Ankara would take necessary measures to protect itself.

"No one should attempt to test Turkey's power. Our security forces will take all necessary measures," Davutoğlu told reporters during a visit to Berlin.

 "Those who for whatever reason attempt to bring the external chaos into our country will get a response," he said.

"At a time of such a critical transition period as far as the developments in Syria, certain provocations may come up. Peace and stability of the Turkish Republic and our citizens have priority more than anything else. We call on our citizens to be careful against certain provocations. Today's blasts will be investigated in full length," Davutoğlu said.

"We are going through a year in which we have not lost any citizens due to acts of terror during the solution process. It is possible that certain sides may want to sabotage Turkey's peace. No power would be successful in hurting Turkey's peace," Davutoğlu also said.

Two car bombs exploded in a Turkish town near the border with Syria on Saturday, killing at least 40 people and injuring some 100 others, officials said. The blasts raised fears that Syria's brutal civil war violence was crossing into its neighbor.

The main Syrian opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, condemned the "terrorist attacks" in Reyhanli saying that it stands together with the "Turkish government and the friendly Turkish people."

The coalition sees "these heinous terrorist acts as an attempt to take revenge on the Turkish people and punish them for their honorable support for the Syrian people," it said.

NATO member Turkey has been one of Bashar Assad's harshest critics and has harboured both Syrian refugees and rebels during the uprising against him, now in its third year. 

Prospects appeared to improve this week for diplomacy over the civil war, in which more than 70,000 people have been killed, after Moscow and Washington announced a joint effort to bring government and rebels to an international conference.

But a Russian official said on Saturday that there was already disagreement over who would represent the opposition and he doubted whether a meeting could happen this month.

 

     

 

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