News / Europe

Turkey Warns Syria About Cross-Border Attacks

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan addresses an audience at Yildiz Technical University in Istanbul, October 5, 2012.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan addresses an audience at Yildiz Technical University in Istanbul, October 5, 2012.
Dorian JonesVOA News
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is warning Syria against carrying out more attacks on Turkish soil.

In a fiery speech Friday in Istanbul, Erdogan said the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should not test Turkey's ability to strike back.

Erdogan's remarks came two days after a Syrian attack on the Turkish town of Akcakale killed five civilians, in one of the most serious cross-border incidents in Syria's 18-month uprising.

Following the attack, Turkish forces shelled Syrian targets and Turkey's parliament authorized military operations outside its borders if necessary.

Turkey dismayed

Erdogan's comments came as Turkish officials are expressing dismay that international outrage against the Syrian regime this week was not as strong as Turkey desired.

Ankara demanded that the United Nations Security Council take strong action.

But after hours of haggling between Turkey's Western allies and longtime Syria-backer Russia, U.N. Security Council condemnation of Syria was not as strong as Turkey was hoping for.

"The situation at the Turkish Syrian border is a quite a serious one and I think anybody who is in our shoes would prefer a stronger format or language," said Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal.

Also, at an emergency meeting of NATO ambassadors after the incident, NATO did not invoke Article Five of its charter, which would require all members to defend Turkey.

Turkey fears isolation

Analysts say after numerous rebuffs from its allies, Turkey realizes it is in danger of becoming isolated.

Sinan Ulgen head of the Istanbul-based research institute, Edam, said Ankara is now playing for the long run.

"If the conflict happens to escalate, then obviously Turkey would seek stronger support from our allies," Ulgen said.  "Therefore the consultations have been initiated are also to prepare the ground for future demand, because Turkey does not want to face the risk of unilateral action."

The Turkish parliament on Thursday passed a motion to allow its forces to intervene into Syria.

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Unal said the parliamentary vote should be viewed as a deterrent to Damascus against any future violations of its territory.  But Unal warned it should not be seen as an empty gesture.

"This is giving the parliamentary license, as well as the legal basis, to the Turkish forces to the government to get prepared for every kind of eventuality," Unal said.  "I think we can't tolerate any kind of new escalations, new violations from the Syrian side, not because our citizens have been killed, but because it's been going on for a while and now enough is enough."

The Turkish army has bolstered its forces around the town hit by Wednesday's mortar strike by Syria.  According to local reports, Turkish warships fully loaded with munitions, labeled "war load," are being sent to the Mediterranean.

Amid the rising tensions, anti-war protests were held in cities across Turkey this week.  The largest was in Istanbul.

According to opinion polls, a large majority of Turks oppose military intervention into Syria, and that opposition is growing.

Analysts say in the face of strong opposition both at home and abroad, Ankara could now be adopting a more nuanced approach, but its tough stance towards Damascus remains unchanged.

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
October 06, 2012 4:52 PM
Turkey is showing it is a belligerent and supports the insurgency in Syria. It is being reported that the mortars were fired on Turkey were in fact fired by the REBELS. The overreaction by the Turkish government is a clear indication they WANT to support the insurgents who use Turkey to launch attacks on Syria. The hypocrisy of ErDOGan is that he launches CROSS BORDER raids with impunity against Kurds in Iraq.

by: Anonymous
October 06, 2012 4:21 PM
Turkey is a bully, we now see the true face of Turkey...

by: Anonymous
October 06, 2012 1:12 PM
Turkey is a belligerent. They conduct cross border attacks all the time against the Kurds. Erdogan is such a hypocrite.

by: Maggie O'C from: Portland, OR
October 05, 2012 4:32 PM
Can anyone explain to me why the U.S. went into Libya, are using drones at will and will not go near Syria? How does the White House make these decisions?
In Response

by: Chris from: San Diego
October 06, 2012 8:15 AM
Maggie, it's called oil. Libya also had large gold holdings from their oil that disappeared once the leadership was toppled.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More