Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that it was out of question for Turkey to send back or extradite any Syrian citizens to Syria or any other country without their consent.
Syrian state television broadcast an interview on Thursday night with one of the most prominent military deserters, appearing to recant claims made when he defected and saying he had never been ordered to fire on protesters.
It was not clear how Lieutenant-Colonel Hussein Harmoush, who announced his desertion in June, ended up back in Damascus.
Turkey's foreign ministry denied reports it had handed him over to Syrian authorities, saying it would be out of the question to return anyone against their will.
A ministry statement said allegations regarding camps where Turkey hosted Syrian people were a part of Syria-oriented disinformation.
"It is a noble tradition of our nation to shelter these people without regarding any interests or intentions," the statement said.
The statement said Turkey wanted violence in Syria to end, the controversy was solved by political methods, and Syria made reforms that would meet legitimate demands of the nation.
A total of 18,199 Syrian citizens entered Turkey due to ongoing incidents in Syria, but 10,646 of them returned to their homeland, the statement said.
In its statement, the ministry said 7,553 Syrian people were actually taking shelter in six camps set up by the Turkish Red Crescent in the southern province of Hatay.
"These people have taken shelter in Turkey due to bad incidents they experienced in Syria and due to their fear. In order to eliminate their reason to stay in Turkey, it is obligatory to remove the reasons that caused them escape from Syria, and it is Syrian government's responsibility," the statement said.
It said it was impossible for Turkey to return any person who wanted to take shelter in its territories not only for humanitarian and conscientious reasons but also for international obligations.
The statement said Turkey had mobilized all its resources to host the Syrian guests in the best way and to ensure their security and comfort, which was proved by objective third parties, including the United Nations.
"Turkey is fulfilling the demand of Syrian citizens who want to return to their homeland without any delay, and to this end, Turkey is fulfilling necessary requirement," the statement said.
It said, "it is out of question for Turkey to send back or extradite any Syrian citizens to Syria or any other country without their consent."
The statement also said Turkey had been a shelter for people and group of people from different parts of the world throughout its history.
Last Mod: 16 Eylül 2011, 16:30