17 April 2014, Thursday
Today's Zaman

‘Freedom Convoy’ stopped at Turkish-Syrian border

12 January 2012, Thursday /TODAY’S ZAMAN WITH REUTERS
Syrian expatriates from Europe, North America and the Arab world riding a “Freedom Convoy” attempted to cross the Turkish-Syrian border near Kilis on Thursday, but were stopped short of the border by Turkish authorities.

Hoping to draw attention to the plight of the people in their strife-torn homeland, the group held a press conference in Kilis shortly before heading to the Öncüpınar border gate. “We told the group that we didn’t have any objections to their bringing aid supplies across the border,” Kilis Deputy Governor Erkan Çapar told the Cihan news agency on Thursday.

The group of 150 activists was later stopped at the border gate by Syrian officials, who refused the group’s request to deliver its token relief supplies of blankets, medicine and food. The gate was also the scene of tension yesterday when five Iranian trucks allegedly carrying “military equipment” to Syria were stopped by authorities.

The UN estimates more than 5,000 people have been killed during a crackdown by the Syrian authorities on an uprising against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad. Syria says it is fighting foreign-backed “terrorists” and 2,000 soldiers and police have been killed.

“We want to go to Syria to show to the whole world what is happening in Syria,” said Moayad Skaif, a 30-year-old Syrian journalist from Qatar on one of the “Freedom Convoy to Syria” coaches. “Assad does not want the truth to come out,” he added.

Turkey’s foreign ministry told Reuters on Thursday it had been in touch with people on the convoy but did not say whether Turkey supported the campaign.

NATO member Turkey shares a 900-kilometer-long border (550 miles) with Syria. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has criticized Syria’s crackdown, calling on former ally Assad to step down and slapped sanctions on Damascus. Turkey is also hosting several thousand refugees, including members of the rebel Syrian Free Army, at camps, while the opposition Syrian National Council meets regularly in İstanbul.

The activists told Reuters they intend to set up a camp close to the border to protest the ongoing violence in Syria. Samir Jisri, a computer graphics teacher from Toronto, said he wanted to return to the country he left as an infant.

“The Syrian revolution is an orphaned revolution because nobody is sticking up for it, not even the Arab League,” said Jisri, 35. “The last hope we have is Turkey.”

Belal Dalati, a 42-year-old Syrian businessman from California, said his cousin had been shot dead in the Syrian town of Zabadina, near the Lebanese border last week.

“We are watching people dying, women, children and the elderly, too, are getting killed in this conflict ... just because the regime wants to stay in power,” Dalati said. “We are calling for foreign military intervention, creating a safe zone for people to flee and for a free army to be organized.”

Pfff, these rebels are simply terrorists in my opinion. Not all people from Turkey believes the lies of these hired mercenaries. I have no roots with the Alevi people of Iskenderun/Antakya. It is not just the people of Iskenderun/Anktaya who are not fooled by these liars, a growing amount of people ...
Mardini, "Syrian expatriates from Europe, North America and the Arab world riding a ?Freedom Convoy? attempted to cross the Turkish-Syrian border near Kilis on Thursday, but were stopped short of the border by Turkish authorities." I guess reading comprehension isn't one of your strengths.
They look like paid mercenaries.
Why Turk don't stop shoving their nose in Syrian matters ?
Click here to read all user comments
DIPLOMACY  Other Titles
US warns against damage to ties over recurring media claims
Chief ombudsman laments low implementation of KDK recommendations
KRG's Barzani visits Ankara for talks with Erdoğan
Villagers file suit against ministry over stray bullets from Syria
Chinese deputy foreign minister in Ankara for inter-delegation meeting
Turkey says deeply concerned over events in Ukraine
‘Turkey will not remain silent over 'genocide resolution' if adopted’
Russia welcomes Turkey's assurances on observance of Montreux terms
Poland: NATO should send troops to east Europe, ignore Russia's objections
US looks to Turkey to uphold checks and balances
Dubai may be a hub for Turkey and Iran's illicit transactions
US House Speaker meets senior Turkish officials in Ankara
EU Minister Çavuşoğlu says Füle's comments on Turkey ‘balanced'
US Ambassador Ricciardone has talks with AK Party officials
Turkey's honorary consuls meet to discuss foreign policy
Iran to build cultural center in the heart of İstanbul
Loğoğlu: No Turkish institution in US works against Turkey
Erdoğan will further polarize Turkey as presidential election approaches
European Union concerned about rule of law in Turkey
Turkey seeks to restore dialogue with Serbia with FM's visit
Turkish Rights groups slam Egypt over execution ruling
Turkey to boost relations with Afghanistan, backing stability in post-election era
Erdoğan's political ambitions clash with Turkey's long-term interests
Critics say Turkey no longer state with rule of law with MİT bill
Turkey might export domestic political tension to diaspora