A Turkish opposition parliamentarian says Premier Recep Tayyeb Erdogan’s policies are harming Turkey’s credibility, describing friendship with Ankara as a “dangerous thing” for neighboring states.
“Turkey’s friendship is becoming a dangerous thing. You don’t know what Turkey will do later to those it extends the hand of friendship to now,” said main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) member Osman Koruturk, pointing to Turkey’s close alliance with Syria that has now transformed into open belligerence towards the southern neighbor.
“The fire in Syria has spilled over to Turkey due to the actions of the AKP [Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party]. We believe that the government’s Syria policy has played a serious part in the rise of terrorism,” Koruturk said.
The opposition lawmaker noted that the Turkish government “directly intervened in the internal affairs” of Syria by arming insurgents in the Arab country.
"When turmoil started in the country [Syria], camps were established before there was even a sign of a refugee flow and now the government is supporting the Syrian opposition. The opposition is trained and armed. The government directly intervened in the internal affairs of a neighboring country and became involved in its internal conflict,” he said.
In a Thursday interview with the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram al-Arabi
, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad lashed out at Turkey for supporting the insurgents fighting against his government, saying his ambitious neighbor is dreaming of “a new Ottoman empire.”
Assad said Turkey, Qatar along with Saudi Arabia - which have thrown their support behind the insurgents in his country - would not win the battle.
"They suddenly saw money in their hands after a long period of poverty and think they can buy history and play a regional role.”
He said the Syrian government will finally defeat the insurgents "using terrorism against the Syrian state", noting that they "have no support among the people. Ultimately they will not emerge victorious."
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Damascus says outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorists are the driving factor behind the unrest and deadly violence while the opposition accuses the security forces of being behind the killings.