Erdogan urged Assad to pursue democratic reforms, report

The Turkish prime minister has warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and advised him to make democratic reforms as Turkey’s close neighbor is shaken by anti-government protests inspired by the popular uprisings sweeping the Arab world.

Ankara is anxious about the possibility the protests could turn into a sectarian clash. “The winds of change are everywhere. During my last visit to Syria I talked with Assad and mentioned that a similar process might develop in his country and that there was a threat of a sectarian approach. Now we see that situation is happening,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told the daily Hürriyet on Tuesday.

“I told him to take lessons from what has been happening in the region,” he said. Assad should find a different way than the other leaders in the region, by approaching his people with a democratic attitude, Erdoğan said.

Protests spread on Monday in Syria from the city of Deraa, where five people have been killed, to three nearby towns. The protests are the most serious domestic challenge yet to President Assad. The Assad family, members of the prominent Alevi minority, rules the Sunni-dominated country.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu also pointed out how vital for Turkey it would be if a wave of unrest hit Syria. “Syria is on an important threshold. We hope problems between the people and the administration [in Syria] can be handled without trouble,” Turkey’s foreign minister said in an interview on CNNTürk late Monday.

Hurriyet

  • Sebouh80

    Democratic reforms in Syria is a complete farce or tragic comic.

  • Anonymous

    Democratic reforms in Syria is a complete farce or tragic comic.

  • Mosetsfire

    The only reform that Assad needs to make is to resign from his post and give the majority a chance to elect their leader.

  • The only reform that Assad needs to make is to resign from his post and give the majority a chance to elect their leader.

  • guss043

    Execute the Assad for his crimes and the crime of his father and his uncle Rifaat who live freely in Marbella , Spain ,having parties every nite and orgies ( eye witnesses ) will be start of the good reforms , nothing less can make justice, adding Hariri and all the Lebanese executed at the hand of the Assassin Alawites mainly, it is sure sectarian let’s name things as they are ,shiite against Sunni and Alawaite and Shiite against Sunni ,stop laughing at each other from Bahrain to Lebanon to Iraq , Fact is in Hama Rifaat el Assad rounded every male from 12 years old to 55 and execute them all. fact as per Patrick Seale book, Rifaat el Assad brought to the main square a Sunni family that back in 1914 executed a Alawite family and in revenge he executed all the family in Hama with no exception . There is no shame to call things how they are Catholic hate protestant and so on, sure there is politic hidden but fact still that they hate each other , I have a Syrian friend from Hama who lost all his cousins in Hama ,they were rounded on the wall and shot at blank range in head without being part of any revolt. Fact that Alawite broguth Syria to poverty , 60 % under poverty line , all together in a shell Assad must go regardless of the way and this is the beginning of the reforms , my prediction Turkey and Jordan will play a big role to finish el Assad , and this time they will be no more support of Israel to his regime as he didn’t curb the Hezbollah as he was suppose to do

  • guss043

    Execute the Assad for his crimes and the crime of his father and his uncle Rifaat who live freely in Marbella , Spain ,having parties every nite and orgies ( eye witnesses ) will be start of the good reforms , nothing less can make justice, adding Hariri and all the Lebanese executed at the hand of the Assassin Alawites mainly, it is sure sectarian let’s name things as they are ,shiite against Sunni and Alawaite and Shiite against Sunni ,stop laughing at each other from Bahrain to Lebanon to Iraq , Fact is in Hama Rifaat el Assad rounded every male from 12 years old to 55 and execute them all. fact as per Patrick Seale book, Rifaat el Assad brought to the main square a Sunni family that back in 1914 executed a Alawite family and in revenge he executed all the family in Hama with no exception . There is no shame to call things how they are Catholic hate protestant and so on, sure there is politic hidden but fact still that they hate each other , I have a Syrian friend from Hama who lost all his cousins in Hama ,they were rounded on the wall and shot at blank range in head without being part of any revolt. Fact that Alawite broguth Syria to poverty , 60 % under poverty line , all together in a shell Assad must go regardless of the way and this is the beginning of the reforms , my prediction Turkey and Jordan will play a big role to finish el Assad , and this time they will be no more support of Israel to his regime as he didn’t curb the Hezbollah as he was suppose to do

  • leb_expatriate

    What is annoying is the lack of action by the rest of Syria’s towns and city’s especially the major cities where protests would have a greater impact. I wouldn’t be surprised if another massacre takes place in Deraa on the same scale as that one which took place in Hama while the rest of the Syrian people look on.

    People of Syria the residents of this brave town have broken the barrier of fear for you rise up already and reclaim your rights.

    The people of the Levant deserve better than this brutality and repression.

  • leb_expatriate

    What is annoying is the lack of action by the rest of Syria’s towns and city’s especially the major cities where protests would have a greater impact. I wouldn’t be surprised if another massacre takes place in Deraa on the same scale as that one which took place in Hama while the rest of the Syrian people look on.

    People of Syria the residents of this brave town have broken the barrier of fear for you rise up already and reclaim your rights.

    The people of the Levant deserve better than this brutality and repression.

  • Anonymous

    What is annoying is the lack of action by the rest of Syria’s towns and city’s especially the major cities where protests would have a greater impact. I wouldn’t be surprised if another massacre takes place in Deraa on the same scale as that one which took place in Hama while the rest of the Syrian people look on.

    People of Syria the residents of this brave town have broken the barrier of fear for you rise up already and reclaim your rights.

    The people of the Levant deserve better than this brutality and repression.

  • alik78

    guss043 its talk like that, that creates hatred and wars. why add fuel to the fire you idiot.

  • Anonymous

    guss043 its talk like that, that creates hatred and wars. why add fuel to the fire you idiot.

  • Rafic

    I think PM Erdoghan is afraid that the revolts will spread to Turkey ,starting with Syrian Kurds then Turkish Kurds also i think he has been a hypocrite cause as of last week in Turkey the journalist were demonstrating against government to free freedom of expression and anybody that critisizes the government or mentions the Armenian massacre by the Ottomans would end up in court.

  • Anonymous

    I think PM Erdoghan is afraid that the revolts will spread to Turkey ,starting with Syrian Kurds then Turkish Kurds also i think he has been a hypocrite cause as of last week in Turkey the journalist were demonstrating against government to free freedom of expression and anybody that critisizes the government or mentions the Armenian massacre by the Ottomans would end up in court.