Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Turkey to sanction Syrian regime, not people – Turkish presidential adviser | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page

Istanbul, Asharq Al-Awsat – Turkish presidential adviser, Arshet Hormozlo, told Asharq Al-Awsat that “there is no political meaning” to the Turkish military exercises taking place close to the Syrian border”, although he did stress that Istanbul will “not remain silent regarding the Syrian authorities actions gainst their own people.”

Hormozlo also said that the early warning radar-system that Turkey is set to host as part of a NATO defense shield is not directed against Syria or Iran, nor is it in order to protect Israel. He said that Tehran has no reason to fear this defense shield – which only possesses defensive capabilities – unless it wants to use its weapons.

Hormozlo also urged the people of Libya to “unite and forget tribal and ideological divisions” warning against “compromising the achievements they have made.” He said “in his last speech at the opening of the parliament, the [Turkish] president said that the revolution that occurred in Libya had achieved the demands of the people, and that the time has come for the people of Libya to put aside their tribal and ideological differences and join hand in hand to build national unity and a new Libya.”

The Turkish presidential adviser stressed the importance of this message to the Libyan people, namely the importance of putting national interests first and cooperating with one another for a free, prosperous, and united Libya. He also warned that any negligence on the part of the Libyan revolutionaries will harm their achievements.

As for the NATO defense shield, Hormozlo said that Turkey hosting an advanced early warning radar-system does not represent a threat to anybody, particularly Iran. As for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s comments that this missile shield targets Iraq, and defends Israel, Hormozlo stressed that “the missile defense shield does not target any particularly country, rather it is to defend against certain types of weapons. If Iran is not thinking about bombing other countries with its missiles, why is it worried about [missile] deterrence?” He stressed that “this missile defense shield does not target any one country, nor is it in defense of any particular country.”

In an address to the nation on Iranian State TV on Tuesday, Ahmadinejad had said that “the missile defense shield is aimed at defending the Zionist regime. They don’t want to let our missiles land in the occupied territories (Israel) if one day they take action against us. That’s why they put it there.”

He added “we told our Turkish friends that it was not a correct job (decision) they did and that it’s to their detriment” before stressing that “such shields can’t prevent the collapse of the Zionist regime.”

However Turkish presidential adviser Arshet Hormozlo told Asharq Al-Awsat that “this [defense shield] system is against weapons, not against any country” stressing that it is to be used to protect states that do not possess weapons. He said “the missile shield is to protect NATO members, including Turkey.”

The Turkish presidential adviser also said that the situation in Syria is deteriorating , pointing to the reports that the death toll has now surpassed the 2,900 mark. He said that the ongoing situation in Syria is harmful to the world in general, and Syria’s neighboring countries – including Turkey – in particular, and that Istanbul will “not remain silent” about what is happening there. Hormozlo revealed that “there will be sanctions issued by the [Turkish] government, although I cannot go into the details of these sanctions that will target the [Syrian] regime and not the people, at this time. These sanctions will be announced following Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to southern Turkey and his tour of the Syrian refugee camps.”

Hormozlo also denied that Turkey was trying to send a “message” to Syria, with regards to the Turkish military exercises scheduled to be carried out close to the Syrian border. He stressed that “these military exercises were planned in advance and have nothing to do with what is happening in Syria.” He added that “these military exercises take place annually, each time in a different region of Turkey, and this time they were scheduled to take place in southern Turkey.”