Turkish President: We have Lost Our Confidence in Assad
Turkish President Abdullag Gul said today in Ankara that his country has lost confidence in the leadership of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Gul expressed deep frustration with Assad’s violent crackdown on protesters. For months, Turkey had been trying to engage Syria in an effort to ease the crisis there.
“Clearly we have reached a point where anything would be too little too late,” Gul said [Anatolia News Agency/New York Times, 29 August].
“We are really very sad,” Gul added. “Incidents are said to be ‘finished,’ and then another 17 people are dead. How many will it be today? We have lost our confidence.”
“Today in the world there is no place for authoritarian administrations, one-party rule, closed regimes,” Gul said. The president added that such governments could be “replaced by force” if their leaders did not make changes.
The statements were particularly significant coming from Turkey, and it would certainly further isolate Assad and his regime in the Islamic world. On Sunday, the Arab League said it would send its secretary general, Nabil al-Araby, to Damascus to seek a resolution to the crisis.
The Arab League has called on Syria to “end the spilling of blood and follow the way of reason before it is too late.” The UN has said that the Syrian security forces have killed 2,200 protesters during the five-month popular uprising against the 42-year rule of Assads.