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

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.