Turkish PM urges UN to take action on Syria

Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan urged the UN Security Council to take action following the release of thousands of photos of war crimes committed by the Syrian regime.

Turkish PM urges UN to take action on Syria

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged the UN Security Council on Tuesday to take decisive steps regarding the Syrian crisis, following the release of several thousand photos documenting war crimes committed by Syria's Assad regime.

Speaking at a joint press conference with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, Erdogan stressed that Turkey was extremely disturbed by the Syria photos.

The photos, which document war atrocities, were published on Monday by leading news agencies, including the Anadolu Agency, alongside a report by forensic experts.

The 55,000 photographs purportedly revealed evidence of systematic torture by the Syrian regime. They were taken by a former Assad official over a two year period.

Erdogan added: "They show how serious the savageness, massacre, and genocide (in Syria is). I wish to reiterate from Brussels that mankind must take immediate action and the necessary steps in the face of the developments in Syria."

Erdogan also noted that any inaction would amount to a failure of responsibility by the international community.

The Geneva II conference, scheduled to convene on Wednesday, aims to end the ongoing and escalating violence in Syria.

More than 100,000 people have been killed in the three-year conflict in Syria, while more than eight million Syrians have become refugees in the neighboring countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq, according to the UN.

Turkey's Prime Minister also touched on Turkey's accession into the European Union (EU), saying that Turkey continues to improve its relations with the EU.

"In particular, we have been deeply determined to carry out every kind of responsibility and obligation of the beginning of the full membership talks," said Erdogan.

"However, a three and a half- year delay occurred in negotiations with the EU despite our struggle and well-intentioned efforts."

Regarding the EU's concerns over regulations of the Turkish Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), Erdogan said that the countries that believed in democracy are sensitive over the separation of powers. He added that the independence of the judiciary will cause serious problems, if it deviates from the principle of objectivity.

"It is the duty of the legislative power to reveal principles of both independence and objectivity in order to overcome these problems."

Stressing that Turkey’s government has never accepted any power beyond the people's will, Turkey’s Prime Minister added: "We are on the side of a democratic and legal state which we especially advocate.”

The judiciary bill currently being debated in Turkey's Parliament has sparked tension between the government and Brussels, with European Commissioner Stefan Fule saying that the reforms should be in line with the EU legislation.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Ocak 2014, 10:44