Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said here on Monday that Syria’s regime cannot not continue in power for long and urged the international community to stop a humanitarian crisis.
Turkey is “opposed to the regime in Syria… nobody should expect us to stand by the people who are oppressing”.
Turkey, which has a more than 900-kilometre (565-mile) border with Syria, hosts some 23,000 refugees who fled the Damascus regime’s deadly crackdown. It is also playing host to a large Syrian opposition community including rebels who defected from the army.
Erdogan, who on Sunday visited a refugee camp in southern Anatolia on the border with Syria, warned that the humanitarian drama caused by the Syrian regime should be ended as soon as possible.
Turkey, once a strong ally of Syria, broke with Damascus after Bashar al-Assad’s regime began cracking down on dissent in mid-March last year.
More than 11,000 people have perished in the violence, activists estimated.