Tuesday, August 9, 2011

'Turkey should stay out of Syria unrest'

Turkey's main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu

Source: Press TV

Turkey's opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has called on Prime Minister Erdogan to stay out of Syrian unrest and not push Turkey into a possible military operation against the Arab country.

“We should take lessons from history. It [Turkey] shouldn't repeat its mistakes. Let's take democracy, freedoms to Syria and contribute to Syria to make it a more contemporary country. But we shouldn't be the pawn of Western sovereign powers,” Kilicdaroglu, leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP), said in an interview with the Hurriyet daily published on Monday.

“We shouldn't get involved in possible military action in Syria. [Western powers] will force Turkey to actively participate in action toward Syria. If a prime minister says that our patience with the situation is running out, the next step is a military operation,” he added.

The Turkish opposition leader noted, “Why would you get involved in military action? Is it because of the Western powers? Foreign policy is based on the interests of the country. Western powers, today, fight with each other, and tomorrow they shake hands. They are not a neighbor of Syria, but we are. The Syrian people don't forget betrayal. Turkey should not assume a role in a military operation.”

Bahrain on Monday recalled its ambassador to Damascus in protest over the unrest in Syria, even while the Manama regime continues its brutal crackdown on peaceful anti-regime protests in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom.

Earlier, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait also recalled their ambassadors to Damascus, with Saudi King Abdullah condemning the ongoing violence in Syria and describing the situation as unacceptable.

On Sunday, King Abdullah said, “Syria should think wisely before it's too late,” despite Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem's having announced earlier that the country would hold free and transparent parliamentary elections by the end of the year.

Hundreds of people, including members of the security forces, have been killed in Syria since the unrest began in mid-March.

Political analysts say that the decision by Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait to recall their ambassadors to Damascus could be interpreted as a prelude to foreign intervention or even civil war in Syria.

The Syrian government blames armed gangs for the violence, saying that the unrest is being orchestrated from outside the country and the security forces have been given clear instructions not to harm civilians.

However, the opposition says security forces are behind the violence.

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