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18 April 2014, Friday
 
 
Today's Zaman
 
 
 
 

Assad has created ‘terrorist state' in Syria, Erdoğan says

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(PHOTO: CIHAN)
5 September 2012, Wednesday /TODAY'S ZAMAN
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a strong critic of the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria, said on Wednesday that Assad's government had created a “terrorist state” in Syria when voicing frustration with an ongoing bloody campaign on civilians by the Syrian government.

“The regime in Syria has now become a terrorist state,” the prime minister said at an expanded meeting of his Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) in Ankara that included deputies and founding members. “The massacres in Syria that gain strength from the international community's indifference continue to increase,” Erdoğan stated, adding that the number of refugees in Turkey who have fled violence in Syria is nearing 80,000.

“A great human tragedy is taking place in Syria. Turkey is not just another country for the Syrian people. No one can expect Turkey to remain indifferent to the sufferings of the Syrian people,” the prime minister went on to say during the meeting.

Turkey began to welcome refugees fleeing the violence in Syria shortly after the Assad government started its bloody campaign against opposition forces roughly 17 months ago. Ankara initially cultivated good relations with the Assad regime, but Erdoğan has become one of Assad's harshest critics in the face of the Syrian government's continued bloody campaign on civilians and opposition forces.

Turkey, struggling to cope with an influx of tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, has repeatedly pushed for a foreign-protected safe zone inside Syria, but the proposal has gained little international support.

The prime minister also said Turkey will continue to raise its voice against the Syrian regime and stand up for the people of Syria. “We will continue to host our Syrian brothers within the bounds of our capabilities,” he stated.

Turkey's ties with the Syrian government deteriorated further recently after Turkish state officials accused Assad and his government of supplying arms to the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). In an earlier statement, Erdoğan raised the possibility of military intervention in Syria if the PKK becomes a threat there. Assad has denied the claim that Syria allows PKK terrorists to operate in Syrian territory.

Listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the EU and the United States, the PKK has been carrying out a bloody war in Turkey's Southeast since 1984. More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict between the terrorist PKK and Turkish forces since the PKK launched its fight with the aim of establishing a separate Kurdish state in the predominantly Kurdish region of the country.

Erdoğan also lashed out at the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) over its allegations that the Turkish government is covertly arming and training members of the Syrian opposition at a refugee camp located in Turkey's Hatay province, near the border with Syria. He said members of a parliamentary commission visited the camp, located in the Apaydın village, on Tuesday, but that the CHP deputies in the commission did not go. “If you were sincere in this [criticism], why did your deputies in the parliamentary Human Rights Investigation Commission not go there? Why? Because they knew they could not show off there. … Sorry, Mr. [Kemal] Kılıçdaroğlu, you will not be allowed to show off there. Because these camps are not the place to show off. They are where [the state] provides service,” he added.

‘PKK receives support from domestic, int'l circles'

The terrorist PKK also received its share of harsh criticism during Erdoğan's speech on Tuesday. In its latest attack, the terrorist group killed 10 members of security forces in Şırnak, in southeastern Turkey, on Sunday.

Erdoğan said the terrorist PKK is a “subcontractor organization that disrespects all humanitarian and sacred values.” He added: “This organization benefits from the [geographical] conditions of the area [in eastern and southeastern Turkey]. And it receives strength and support from treacherous circles both within the country and abroad. This organization receives support from countries and circles that are enemies of Turkey.”

The prime minister expressed his condolences to the families of the 10 security force members killed in Şırnak's Beytüşşebap district late Sunday by the terrorist PKK. “As the mother of one of our martyrs said before, we have to stand tall in the face of the terrorist group,” he said, calling on his audience not to bow to acts of terrorism. “We will not cry, my dear friends. We will maintain our resolution in the strongest way possible. We will not make the terrorist group happy nor will we allow it to achieve its objectives by sowing the seeds of hatred within our people,” Erdoğan said.

The terrorist PKK claims to be fighting for the rights of the Kurdish minority in Turkey. Turkish state officials, however, say this is not the case. The terrorist group does not refrain from killing Kurds in its bloody attacks. Within its borders, the Turkish state has granted more cultural rights to Kurds as a means of easing the long-running conflict with a significant portion of the ethnic minority, but there is still a great deal of distrust between Ankara and many Kurds.

“The terrorist group does not dare challenge our security forces. It uses children, women and innocent civilians as shields and stages attacks after cowardly infiltrating crowds. And it runs away after staging attacks. It has no trace of dignity,” Erdoğan stated, adding that the PKK also targets officials and members of the AK Party. Earlier this week, the terrorist group abducted AK Party Hakkari branch head Mecit Tarhan.

Previously, the PKK abducted CHP deputy Hüseyin Aygün. Aygün, who was kidnapped on Aug. 12, was released after two days. The prime minister does not believe that the CHP deputy was really kidnapped by the PKK. “What kind of a kidnapping was that? He was sent back two days after being kidnapped. His [Aygün's] statements were so strange. “They [members of the PKK] were good kids; they treated me politely.” This was what he [Aygün] said. … It was all a story. Take no offense, but no one will believe you,” Erdoğan stated.

Aygün drew the ire of many people after he said in his initial remarks after his release by PKK terrorists that his kidnappers were “seven well-mannered youths.” He said the terrorists were “extremely respectful” with the manner in which they treated him. He said he believed he was kidnapped for the purposes of political propaganda.

In the meantime, Erdoğan said in an interview published by CNN International on Wednesday that the US is “lacking initiative” on Syria and suggested that could be because of the upcoming US election. “Maybe it's because of the elections -- maybe it's because of the pre-election situation in the States. That might be the root cause of the lack of initiative. Nobody has spoken to us about their reasons, and they are not obliged to state anything. We are very thankful and pleased they have stated that they're against this regime,” Erdoğan told CNN International through a translator.

When asked what he thought the biggest danger to Turkey was, Erdoğan spoke about weapons of mass destruction. “Well, the biggest danger, not only for Turkey but for the entire region and the world is ... the employment of weapons of mass destruction and chemical ones, of course. If the slightest suggestion of such an attempt should emerge, not only in Turkey, but the attitude of the entire globe is going to change forever,” he said.

 
 
COMMENTS
Erdogan has raised Turkey into the heights of hypocrisy previously only matched by Israel
KenM
@Persian Wise Man, you're so modest, LMAO. You're in reality a Persian Ignorant Foolish Man, but what can be expected from the mouth of a Persian?
rj
Remember! initially, the Syrian people initiated a peaceful change through peaceful rallies, but Mr Asad chose to kill them in their hundreds, while they were still waving their tri-coloured flag. They say he who uses the sword dies by the sword. The Syrian people have no other option but to get rid...
Nageyec
Does the PM condemn what's happening in Bahrain where ruling kingdom is 30% Sunnis
VTiger
Has the PM condemned the release of murderer safarov by sultan aliyev?
VTiger
Interfering in Syria's affairs is terrorism as well
VTiger
Mr Erdogan is talk hard to talk about Syria and I commend him for that. Hopefully he will be able to push regional leaders to take action soon. I wouldn't count on USA or any other country to really help in a riteous way. Iran is the biggest hyppocrite state as its economy is totally based on intere...
Ali Halabee
this is coming from a prime minister who harbours terrorism....LOL....what a hypocrite.....you've only shot yourself in the foot, terror organizations have got a strong foot hold in your country now as seen by recent attacks....
reality
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Italian: Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo) is a 1966 Italian epic Spaghetti western film famose for the sentence "When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk"
Ben Yacob
Last week, I was watching 007 movie From Russia with Love. Istanbul was so beautiful and so romantic; Turkey was so full of potential. With what is happening in Syria and surrounding it, what will happen to Turkey now and in the future? The danger for Turkey and for the region is very real. Mr. Erdo...
Sir Percy
So complicated situation. What would you do in this position? All of you please think what would you do with the neighbors you have?? Complex I would say..
FinnishTurk
Dear Mr. Prime Minister, with all due respect, why did you not stand up for the rights of Syrians for past decade? Why wait untill bloodshed began? You were very close to Assad and his family and knew very well how they run the country, it is too late to denounce them now. It is almost like knowing...
sergey
Turkey is booming civilian in east part of turkey and northern Iraq on Daly base killing many people day after day… so what do you call this Mr Erdogan ?? Turkey almost interfering in every surrounding country in the region. Now back of and mind your own issue solve Kurdish people issue.
uk BBC
What happened to Mr Erdogan? He used to boast about “zero problem” with neighbors but now he’s complaining about all enemies internal and external. Please tell him to stop lying and stop sending terrorists into Syria. He has messed up Turkey’s image in the Muslim world for being in bed with Zi...
Charles
I am very diappointed by Erdogan and his AKP party. I used to admire the man the way he manuvered his way and Turkey through Military junta in Turkey. I thought we would form startegic alliances with the East and snub the West for humiliating Turkey for many decades and still do it. Lets remember on...
Persian Wise Man
@Yavuz, you forgot Azerbaijan
George
Erdogan has also said that Turkish people are incapable of committing Genocide. It seems that they are quite capable of beheading a sleeping man with an axe and then making the murderer a hero in their brother state of Azerbaijan. It is just amazing what can come out of this man’s mouth.
Marawan
Turkey should take a second place for a terrorist state after Azerbaijan. After all, Ramil Safarov the hero of Azeri people known as the Axe-murderer, was pardoned, promoted and made a national hero for beheading a sleeping man. Turkey should learn from their Azeri brothers.
Uncle Billy
I can't swallow nor have any respect for this man, who says one thing, but does another.
Eliza
The Syrian rebels commit suicide bombing, slice throats and commit acts of terrorism according to int. law. Erdogan and king Abdullah as well as Bin Khalifa have been supporting the Syrian Salafi and other radical rebel groups with arms, finances. The majority of the Syrian people favour a laicist r...
Abu Piet
For all the apparent hypocracy of Erdoğan's past friendship with Assad and his ghastly regime,there appears to be a genuine change of heart and understanding.Crucially the conditions on the ground have changed dramatically, as have the political dynamics. Erdoğan stung by conscience and betrayal,abo...
Rudolphus
madness . the ex best friend now is a terrorist. ans how can now a muslim can be terrorist ? cause as we know from you mr PM he cant. please send us a list every week from your new ex and good friends cause things change fast .
constantinos
Ismail Aljazaeri, nobody cares what a French-assimilated "harki" like you has to say. Algeria is not a democracy as evidenced by how the French-controlled government has restricted religious freedom and has rigged elections.
FrogKiller
As an Algerian who suffered from the effects of Islamist terror in the nineties who waged a deadly war against the Algerian people and its institution, I condamn the Turkish position, who is supporting the international terrorists who are commiting genocide against the innocent Syrian people. Syrian...
Ismail Aljazaeri
Stop supporting terror in Syria, Erdogan! You can't accuse others of been terroristes whe yourself support, harbour and protect them. You can run but you can't hide.
Moise
It is not Mr Erdogan and Mr Davutoglu's responsibility to agitate for change in other oppressive countries like Iran and Syria. They can only pay a supporting role when the citizens of these countries indicate that they want change as what happened in Syria with peaceful protest.
Petra
it is not the only one. the middle east has many terrorist states. syria, iran, gaza, hezbollah...
jeevan
@Yavuz, right you are. And the regime in Libya was same also and yet he still went there to collect his humanitarian award given to him by his very close friend Gaddafi, ROFL. Wonder where he keeps that trophy, LOL.
Yaşar
Coming from a supporter of HAMAS
Alexios
Without Turkish help, tens of thousands of innocent Syrians would have now been killed, all while the UN watches and does nothing. Turkey once again setting the example.
Metin
Extremely unwise statement.The man seems overtired, and needs a rest. Urgently.
pinecone
As if before 2011, when Mr. Erdogan was best friends with Assad, Syria had had a different kind of regime... It was always a repressive regime under the Assads, but Mr. Erdogan and Mr. Davutoglu preferred looking the other way, just as they do with the oppressive regime in Iran. The hypocrisy of the...
Yavuz
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