Ayhan Sefer Üstün, head of the parliamentary Human Rights Commission, and a Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy, has called on the world to stop being mere spectators to the massacres in Syria, saying, “Let Hama not be another Srebrenica.” Noting that, should things go on as they are, we would in the future have to commemorate the victims in Syria as we have those massacred in Bosnia, Üstün remarked to Today's Zaman, “All options should be considered to stop the killings.” He has also criticized the opposition parties for opposing the AK Party on the Syrian issue for the sake of opposition, and noted that by so doing they may be cursed by the victims of the ongoing killings in Syria.
For Serhat Erkmen, a consultant to the Ankara-based think tank Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies (ORSAM), massacres of this kind should be expected to be carried out by Syrian forces into the future, because the international community has failed to present strong opposition to the Bashar al-Assad regime.
“The countries giving support to the Assad regime, such as Russia, China and Iran, know what they are doing, and act accordingly. But the other countries are unable to produce a common policy, and act inconsistently,” he commented to Today’s Zaman. Describing events in Syria as a full-blooded civil war, Erkmen cautioned, “The civil war may, at any moment, spread to the countries in the region, should Assad and the powers behind him deem it to be in their best interests.”
Speaking to Today’s Zaman, Şevket Kazan, chief advisor to the chairman of the Felicity Party (Saadet Partisi), has criticized the government for cutting off communication with the Assad regime. “The government should have been in a position to talk to both sides in the conflict in Syria. But it can’t, because the government acts under the direction of the US,” he stated. Questioning the government’s discourse that Turkey is the leader of the Islamic world, Kazan added, “Turkey can’t do anything to stop the bloodshed [in Syria] and keeps watching, while Kofi Annan has been exerting efforts for the two sides to reach a compromise.”
Sinan Ülgen, chairman of the İstanbul-based Economy and Foreign Policy Research Center (EDAM), said Turkey cannot possibly de anything more than criticize the Syrian government, because the Turkish government has broken diplomatic relations with Damascus. Considering that the international community is not willing to put up a strong reaction against the al-Assad regime, Ülgen does not think it would be possible to find a solution to the crisis in Syria in the foreseeable future.