Turkey not intend to intervene in Syria's internal affairs
Updated: 2012-10-10 19:30
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during the opening session of the 28th session of the COMCEC in Istanbul Oct 10, 2012. [Photo/Agnencies]
ISTANBUL - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Turkey has no intention to intervene Syria's internal affairs and what happening in Syria is not because of Turkey.
The Turkish prime minister made the statement while addressing at the 28th session of the COMCEC meeting of OIC (the Organization of Islamic Cooperation) with about 50 member countries.
Erdogan explained the escalating tension between Turkey and Syria and called for solidarity of Islamic countries in solving the Syria crisis. "We should never be in such a situation. We should pursue the same position and stance."
Erdogan further confirmed that Turkey is now hosting more than 99,000 Syrian refugees. Since the start of Syrian crisis, over 1.2 million people are displaced inside Syria and nearly 250,000 people have fled the country and became refugees in neighboring countries such as Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon.
However, Turkey is still putting pressure on Syria by authorizing the government to launch cross-border military operation, reinforcing military building up in border region between the two countries.
Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Ozel on Wednesday vowed to give a harsher response to if shelling from the neighboring country continues to spill over the border after last week's deadly incident which left five Turks dead in a border town.
Ozel, who has been inspection border troops for a couple of days, was on Wednesday in the border town of Akcakale where a Syrian mortar killed five civilians last Wednesday. He paid a visit to Omer Timucin whose wife, three children and a relative were killed in the incident to deliver his condolences.
Ozel said the Turkish military has instantly launched retaliatory strikes in response to Syrian mortars that hit Turkey since Wednesday. "We responded but if it continues we will respond with greater force," Ozel said. He added that the Syrian military suffered serious damage from Turkish strikes.