World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said, "It's an international commitment to stop the humanitarian drama in Syria. UN Security Council, Arab League and Organization of Islamic Cooperation consider it a humanitarian problem."
Erdogan and his Slovenian counterpart Janes Jansa appear at a press conference after their talks and committee meetings.
Erdogan stated that Turkey and Slovenia had common visions in the international arena particulary in the Balkans. He reminded that Turkey-Slovenia Strategic Partnership Document was signed in Ankara in 2011 and said that in line with the document they had cooperated while taking important decisions.
Erdogan stressed that Slovenia stood by Turkey during its EU membership process and that he was thankful for it. Erdogan said, "I would like to congratulate them for their successful membership process for NATO, EU and OECD."
Erdogan asked both countries' businessmen to invest and cooperate more. Turkish premier stated that both countries were heading towards common opinions on international and regional issues.
"We had a chance to discuss Syria issue and I believe that humanitarian problem of Syria is an international issue and we as UN Security Council, Arab League and Organization of Islamic Cooperation have to solve this problem immediately. We have 23 thousand Syrians staying in Turkey at the moment and we are working hard to provide enough accommodation to all," Erdogan said.
The Turkish prime minister last Sunday visited the 'container city' erected by the Turkish Red Crescent and talked to several Syrians. Erdogan said, "They (Syrians) all wish to return to their homes. Of course they miss their homes, what we provide them is nothing near their homes. We have told the Syrians that we were taking the situation internationally."
Asked if a military intervention to Syria was among Turkey's options, Erdogan said that Turkey did not have a problem with the people of Syria.
The Syrians are our brothers, sisters and friends. We have a border that is 910 kilometers long with Syria. We have kinship ties with Syria. There are close ties between those residing in Aleppo, and Hatay-Antakya. Everyone must know that we have a certain responsibility in the case of Syria, Erdogan noted.
Turkey feels a kind of responsibility based on humanitarian laws and international laws when it comes to Syria, Erdogan stated.
We are against the Syrian regime. No one should expect us to be on the side of the tyrants. More than 10,000 people were killed in Syria. The number of injured is not certain. There are around 150,000 Syrians who have been displaced and have become refugees. 23,000 of them reside in Turkey. More than 100,000 reside in Jordan. A certain number of Syrians are living in Lebanon. Syrians are running away from tanks and artillery fire. I do not believe that the Syrian regime can continue for long. The national will of the Syrian people will soon win over the regime. No one can achieve victory against a people and nation. If you act with the nation, you can achieve victory. You are bound to lose if you act against the national will. This is what is going to happen in Syria, Erdogan indicated.
Reminded about two Turkish journalists Adem Ozkose and Hamit Coskun in Syria and their meeting with officials of the Humanitarian Aid Foundation on Sunday and asked about their possible return to Turkey, Erdogan said that he made some statements on the matter in Gaziantep on Sunday.
The issue of the two Turkish journalists in Syria is being closely followed by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). Turkey's initiatives on the matter continue in Syria and Iran. Our wish is to see the two journalists released as soon as possible. We will follow up on the matter closely, Erdogan underlined.
"We have always remained at the table but they ran away"
Reminded that a new political term began in France and how Turkey will continue its sanctions against France, Premier Erdogan said that the elections process in France was not over yet and that a parliamentary election would take place in France in June.
Any statement we make before the parliamentary elections would be wrong, Erdogan stressed.
Turkey and France have never been enemies against each other and we do not want to see France as an enemy, Erdogan said.
We have always preferred to be silent against the negative stance of the Sarkozy administration and their attitude on the so-called Armenian genocide during our 9.5 years in rule. There are around 600,000 Turks living in France. They make up a bridge between Turkey and France. We have made efforts to protect such relations. I have had a chance to work with Mr. Chirac. During the Chirac administration, we always participated in the summit of leaders. Once Sarkozy came to power, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Sarkozy blocked our participation in the summit of leaders. On the Armenian issue, we have told Sarkozy that this was a matter for historians and not parliaments. We went further by saying that our state archives were ready for historians, lawyers, political scientists and archeologists. If Armenia and third countries have similar documents, they should also make available such documents to historians and scholars. Just as we are ready to face our history, so should Armenia. We also began an initiative with our foreign ministers in Switzerland. We have always remained at the table but they ran away. We do hope that, in this new term in France, they would not run away from the table. There is something we heard which I hope is not real. And, that has to do with an approach that Turkey can not become an EU member unless it solved the Armenian issue. I hope that such a statement was not actually made. If such a statement was made, we would have to review the whole process, Erdogan emphasized.
"Wrong behaviour against Turkey can be corrected"
Asked if France would have a different look at Turkey's EU membership after Sunday's presidential election, Erdogan said that they had better relations with social democrat parties in the EU.
The Christian Democrats should not be angry due to this fact, Erdogan stated.
The social democrats always support Turkey. I do hope that the EU's wrong behaviour against Turkey, a country waiting to join the union for 50 years, could be corrected in this new term with Mr. Hollande, Erdogan noted.
Turkey has always been in a positive approach to the EU. Everything that was not applied against other EU countries were applied on Turkey. These were rules not mentioned in the EU acquis. The rules of the game were changed during the game itself. You just can not change ruled during a game. The game has already begun and the rules should remain the same. I hope that during this new term France's attitude on Turkey gets more positive. We expect this from France. Turkey can make contributions to the institutionalization of the EU, Erdogan also said.
Asked if a presidential system was on Turkey's agenda, Premier Erdogan said that this issue could be debated during the process of writing the new Turkish constitution.
Debates on such a system are part of a democracy. We have to debate if we wish a presidential or semi-presidential system. If the parliament decides on a certain system, we would have nothing to say. A sun of reality gets borne after the clash and debate of ideas, Erdogan said.
Turkish prime minister also underlined that they decided to arrange a football match between Turkish and Slovenian government members.Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Mayıs 2012, 10:09