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President says Turkey against foreign intervention in Syria

Posted by seumasach on November 21, 2011

Today’s Zaman

21st November, 2011

Turkish President Abdullah Gül has said his country does not favor foreign military intervention in Syria to end the ongoing crackdown in the neighboring country, indicating that a solution to the current stalemate should be found within Syria.

“These are the issues to be solved within Syria. We do not think that any foreign military intervention in Syria would be appropriate now,” he told a group of journalists aboard a plane carrying him to London on Sunday. The president also called on the Syrian opposition to assure the Syrian people that they would not seek revenge in the event of a regime change, would not let chaos reign and would represent everyone.

“You know there are various religious sects in Syria. All of them are natural elements of this country. There is even a non-Muslim population. This issue would be solved once they give this guarantee,” Gül said.

When asked whether he fears a civil war in Syria, Gül said, “Yes.” “People do not want to live under authoritarian regimes but people — involuntarily — preferred authoritarian regimes if they thought chaos, civil war and instability would result in the event of a [regime] change. That is why this issue will be solved once the Syrian people believe there will be no chaos and feelings of revenge after change,” he added.

Turkey, once a close ally of the Syrian president, has gradually toughened its criticism of the Syrian regime for its brutal crackdown on anti-regime protests. Turkish leaders have on many occasions called on Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad to end the crackdown and step down.

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