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

Beloved Lion Killing Sparks Virtual, Real Life Outrage

Twitter, as usual, was epicenter for anger directed at Palmer, with some questioning his manhood, calling for him to be released into the wild More

Video Booming London Property Market a Haven for Dirty Money

Billions of dollars from proceeds of crime, especially from Russia, being laundered through London property market, according to anti-corruption activists More

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

One former Scout leader thinks organization will move past political, social debate, get back to its primary focus of turning boys into good citizens 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.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs