World Bulletin/News Desk
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has urged the UN Security Council to take immediate action on Syria, saying that the time for such action is long overdue and pointing to the recent spillover of violence to the Turkish town of Ceylanpınar in Şanlıurfa province, on the Syrian border, that resulted in the deaths of two Turkish citizens.
“This is very much the time for the UN Security Council to follow through on its responsibilities [and say stop to the Syrian massacre],” Davutoğlu stated during an iftar (fast-breaking) dinner with local businessmen in his hometown of Konya on Wednesday.
Davutoğlu spoke of Tuesday's killings in Ceylanpınar, saying: “This incident offers a striking glimpse into how greatly the Syrian crisis could affect our citizens and Turkey. We once again call on the international community. The time to say ‘stop' to this merciless massacre is long overdue. If they fail [to say stop], the raison d'être of many international missions, particularly those of the UN Security Council, will be invalidated.”
Davutoğlu also offered his condolences to the families of the Ceylanpınar victims. A 17-year-old Turkish youth, Mahsun Ertuğrul, and another teenager, Ahmet Gündüz, died on Wednesday after being hit by stray bullets shot from the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain on Tuesday.
Kurdish militants in Ras al-Ain were battling anti-government opposition fighters under the flag of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) on Tuesday. The incident marks the most serious spillover of violence into Turkey in weeks and highlights the growing concern that Syria's civil war is pushing into neighboring states.
Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) militants seized the control of Ras al-Ain on Wednesday in a move that increased the possibility of an autonomous Kurdish region being created in Syria.
The foreign minister also pointed to the ongoing settlement process with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). He claimed that the Gezi Park protests, which started in Turkey in May, were provoked to sabotage the successfully progressing settlement process, although he did not elaborate on who the provocateurs were.
'We will only work with those elected'
Also speaking of Turkey's condemnation of the military overthrow of Morsi in Egypt, Davutoğlu stated: “As a matter of principle, we only stand behind elected people and elected institutions, regardless of which party or from which roots they come. We emphasize the need to respect the will of the Egyptian people and we will continue to say that.”
Emphasizing that Turkey has always followed universal principles and human rights, Davutoğlu noted: “While we lend a helping hand to the hungry people of Somalia, while we embrace our Syrian brothers displaced in Syria and as we feel the pain of the Palestinians as well as the 52 people killed in Egypt [after the army reportedly opened fire on them] deep inside our hearts, we only want to do one thing: behave according to the spirit of Ramadan. Ramadan is a month in which to embrace the oppressed.”
‘Silence in face of Syrian massacre prepared ground for Egyptian coup'
Returning to Turkey on Wednesday after a two-day visit to Baku, Davutoğlu said that the inaction of the international community with regards to the Syrian question encouraged the military intervention in Egypt.
“The stance of the international community, remaining silent to the events in Syria, prepared the ground for the current situation in Egypt. If democracy cannot be consolidated in the Middle East, the responsibility is on those who remain inactive on the Syrian question. The situation in Egypt has made (NOT CLEAR) [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad and the former president of Yemen [Ali Abdullah Saleh] so happy. It created the mentality that going back [from the gains made by the Arab Spring] is so easy,” Davutoğlu stated.
The Turkish government has repeatedly stated its staunch support for former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. Observers claim that one of the prominent losers in the Egyptian coup is Turkey because of the close political and economic ties it had developed with Egypt's former leadership, the Muslim Brotherhood, led by Morsi.
Egyptian-Turkish relations were strengthened under Morsi's leadership as the two countries had adopted a similar stance regarding the Syrian conflict in the diplomatic sphere and support the Syrian opposition forces as they struggle to topple the embattled Assad regime.
The international community, including the US, is still indecisive on defining the military intervention in Egypt ousting Morsi, as a coup, a determination that would affect US aid to Cairo.
Under US law, Washington would have to cut off aid to Egypt if it decided that Morsi's removal from office on July 3 was a military coup.Last Mod: 19 Temmuz 2013, 10:08