‘There is limit to world patience’
(Reuters) / 29 May 2012
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday condemned the killing of more than 100 civilians in the Syrian town of Houla last week and said there was a limit to the world’s patience over ending the bloodshed.
“To carry out this kind of murder, to shamefully murder 50 innocent children, 110 innocent civilians, while the United Nations observer mission is carrying out its mission in Syria … is torture, it is wretched,” Erdogan said. “There is also a limit to patience, and I believe that, God willing, there is also a limit to the patience in the UN Security Council,” Erdogan told a weekly meeting of his ruling AK Party.
Once a friend of Damascus, Turkey has become a fierce critic of Assad over his 14-month long crackdown on his opponents and has called on the Syrian leader to step down.
Erdogan has repeatedly hit out at the UN Security Council for failing to take a united stance on Syria and last month accused the 15-member body of indirectly supporting the “oppression”.
He described a veto by permanent Security Council members China and Russia of a United Nation resolution on Syria in February as a “fiasco for the civilised world”.
“There is no explanation for taking the side of the oppressors, those who act together with this oppression belong to the oppressors,” he said.
While Ankara has kept up its sharp rhetoric against Assad, it has been reluctant to take a leading role in any action, seeking a stronger position from the UN Security Council.
Turkey, which shares a 900-km border with Syria and has given refuge to some 25,000 Syrians, including rebel fighters, opposes any intervention in Syria.
However, it has indicated that it might consider declaring a “buffer zone” to protect civilians if there were a mass influx of refugees across its borders.