First Published: 2013-06-05


Erdogan: Assad has surpassed his father in massacres


Turkish PM says Syrian President will have to pay price for his crimes, massacres sooner or later.


Middle East Online

Erdogan has become one of Assad's fiercest critics

ALGIERS - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, facing unprecedented popular protests at home, charged on Tuesday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has committed atrocities worse than those attributed to his notorious father.

"Assad has surpassed his father in crimes and massacres, and it is not possible to forgive that. He will have to pay the price sooner or later," Erdogan said during a speech in to the parliament in Algeria, which he is visiting on a four-day tour of North Africa.

The regime of Assad's late father and predecessor Hafez al-Assad crushed a Muslim Brotherhood uprising in the central city of Hama in 1982, killing between 10,000 and 40,000 people.

The 26-month civil war now raging in Syria, which began after a popular uprising was brutally suppressed, has cost more than 94,000 lives, according to one monitoring group.

Erdogan, a former ally of Damascus who has become one of Assad's fiercest critics, underlined that 300,000 Syrians who had fled the conflict were sheltering in neighbouring Turkey.

"We support their demands (of the Syrian people) who aspire to democracy," he said.

Erdogan, who arrived in Algeria on Tuesday, made no mention of the events in Turkey during his speech, which was boycotted by the Workers' Party.

"We boycotted in solidarity with the Turkish people and to condemn the Turkish position in the so-called Arab Spring," the group's president, Djelloul Djoudi, said.

Erdogan is due to travel to Tunisia on Wednesday and return the following day to Turkey, which has been rocked by the worst political crisis of his 10 years in power.

Five days of anti-government demonstrations have now cost the lives of two people, and public workers on Tuesday launched a two-day strike in support of the protests.


At least 13 killed in Yemen wedding bombing

UN envoy proposes Libya unity government led by Sarraj

Israel-Palestinian unrest at risk of turning into religious war

Israeli PM bars ministers from Al-Aqsa compound

US has not yet made decision on Syria no-fly zone

Russian volunteers fighting for Assad regime

Jew stabs four Arabs in southern Israel

Three more stabbing attacks as Palestine-Israel violence continues

Violence in Jerusalem continues

Turkey gives EU's migrant plan offer lukewarm reception

Erdogan uses nuclear, gas deals to pressure Russia over Syria

HRW urges statement from West over imprisoned Bahrain dissidents

EU aim to have migrant 'hotspots' ready by end of November ‘unrealistic’

After nuclear deal, Iran takes central role to end Syria war

Escape or temporary move: Erdogan son settles in Italy

ISIS attack complicates task for Arab coalition in Yemen

Syria army launches broad ground operation in Hama province

Number of confirmed cholera cases rises to 1,200 in Iraq

Russia ‘ready’ to establish contacts with Free Syrian Army

Turkey arrests six people over 'minting coins for ISIS’

US insists no military cooperation with Russia in Syria conflict

Russia warships fire cruise missiles to back Syria army operation

New violence rocks Israel, West Bank

Mortar attack wounds Lebanon soldiers near border with Syria

Iraq forces recapture several areas around Ramadi

Saleh’s party ‘ready’ for UN-brokered Yemen peace

Erdogan’s vision of Syria’s future torn up by Putin

IS bombings will not deter Yemen govt from staying in Aden

EU to ease Turkey migrant burden on conditions

EU kicks off military operation against ‘mafia of the sea’

Russia air strikes targeting Chechen jihadists in Syria

Russia examining US proposals to coordinate Syria strikes

Russia hints at willingness on Syria 'deconfliction' with US

France may strip five terrorists of nationality

Israel demolition policy: Collective punishment in violation of international law

Violence in Yemen may trigger world's next great refugee crisis

EU to 'step up' work on resettlement of refugees from Turkey

Tunisia dismantles three ISIS recruitment cells

Russia not cooperating with US in Syria safety talks

Halal economy set to grow worldwide

‘Islamic State’ claims series of deadly attacks in Yemen

Recent unrest leaves Netanyahu with tough political choices

NATO accuses Russia of violating Turkey airspace

Unpaid teachers in Iraq Kurdistan go on strike to end ‘farce’

Erdogan warns Russia not to destroy friendship with Turkey

Arab coalition troops among 15 killed in Yemen attacks