Turkey Signals More Sanctions against Syria
January 13, 2012
Turkey’s prime minister hinted yesterday that Ankara could impose additional sanctions on neighboring Syria in line with developments in the Arab republic.
“Syria is heading through a religious, sectarian and racist-based civil war. Turkey has to play a prominent role in stopping this. If a civil war erupts in the country, it will put Turkey into unease,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a joint press conference with his Norwegian counterpart.
Erdogan said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime had killed nearly 7,000 Syrians since protests began in March. “No government in the world can applaud such an authoritarian, dictatorial regime.”
Noting that Turkey was hosting nearly 9,000 Syrians who had escaped from Syrian forces, Erdogan said this number would increase if Damascus did not block those trying to flee the country.
On other regional issues, Erdogan slammed the different sectarian groups in Iraq that have caused an enormous crisis in the region. “I will talk to the Iraqi prime minister [today],” Erdogan said, urging Iraqi authorities to end their disputes.
Noting that he had urged U.S. authorities to not leave Iraq before the country had fully normalized, Erdogan said, “I think it will take years before this country adopts contemporary democratic norms.”
He also slammed Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for launching a legal process against Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi. “What kind of a coalition is this?”.