World Bulletin / News Desk
A Syrian parliamentarian representing the northern province of Aleppo said on Friday she has defected to Turkey, becoming the first member of the rubberstamp assembly elected in May and dominated by President Bashar al-Assad's Baath Partyto defect.
"I have crossed to Turkey and defected from this tyrannical regime ... because of the repression and savage torture against a nation demanding the minimum of rights," Ikhlas al-Badawi told Sky News Arabia.
Opposition sources Syrian troops and armour are amassing around the northern city of Aleppo, Syrian's main commercial and industrial hub, to crush armed resistance to Assad that has been gathering momentum following a military crackdown on street demonstrations against his rule.
The authorities chose Badawi, a Sunni Muslim, to run for parliament on behalf of the "labourers and peasants" sector, a term for state backed labour and farmers unions who are guaranteed half the seats in the 250 seat assembly.
Badawi, a mother of six, was also a member of the Baath Party, which took power in 1963 military coup that destroyed the country's democratic institutions in favour of a Soviet style political system dominated by Assad's minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam.
Intensified ground and aerial bombardment on Syrian cities by Assad's forces in recent weeks has prompted diehard Baathists and Assad's loyalists to defect.
They have been mostly Sunni Muslim, from the majority sect at the forefront of the 16-month uprising against Assad.
Nawaf al-Fares, Syria's ambassador to Iraq and a former Baath Party chief in the eastern province of Deir al-Zor, fled to Qatar through Jordan two weeks ago.
Fares, according to opposition sources, is a friend of Manaf Tlas, a brigadier general in the Republican Guards and a member of Assad's inner circle, who fled Syria earlier this month.
BIST 100 index rises 0.11 percent; US dollar/Turkish lira rate stands at 3.5130
Number of properties sold to foreigners surged 10.1 percent year-on-year in May, TurkStat reports
Greece told to respect its Muslim minority after Athens hit out at Quran recital, call to prayer at Istanbul's Hagia Sophia
Beleaguered Gulf state to receive 4,000 tons of food amid ongoing embargo by Arab countries
Index sees decline of 3.8 pct monthly, according to Turkish Statistical Institute
BIST 100 index climbs 0.41 percent, while US dollar/Turkish lira rate stands around 3.52
Suspects include catering company's chief executive
NGOs are the keystone of the nation's unity and solidarity, says Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
More than 2,000 operations targeted PKK over last month, according to official sources
Tons of hashish among illegal narcotics seized in Diyarbakir province
BIST 100 index falls 0.09 percent while US dollar/Turkish lira rate slips to 3.5390
‘Our export trade with the EU is 49 percent, import 40 percent, 44 percent of foreign trade in total,’ Nihat Zeybekci says
A total of 2.9 million refugees have been hosted by Turkey, UNHCR says
Up to 750 young African and Turkish leaders will be trained by the Council between 2017 and 2023