Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said that Turkey will take action if it sees any new threat of an attack on its porous Syrian border like the twin blasts in Reyhanlı that killed 52 people last month. “If there was any violation of the border as a real threat to national security again, of course we would act and respond,” Davutoğlu told Al Jazeera in an interview aired today.
He added that that the Turkish authorities in their probe into the Reyhanlı attacks had established certain linkages with the regime and now were gathering the evidence.
Commenting on the U.S. government’s statement that they held evidence that showed Syria had used chemical weapons, Davutoğlu said that it was not “something surprising” for Ankara. “As Turkey, as a neighboring country we had our own investigation, we had several cases, incidents where we suspected that chemical weapons were being used and there was special research regarding injured people and we also found strong evidences regarding the use of chemical weapons,” Davutoğlu said.
“We hope that the international community will act decisively on that issue,” he added.
During Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Washington visit May 16, the Turkish delegation had reportedly presented their evidence on the chemical weapon use by the Bashar al-Assad forces in Syria. Erdoğan had also previously accused al-Assad of using chemicals and said that he had already “crossed the red lines” of U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration with respect to its Syria policy.
Calls on Iran for a new approach on Syria
Davutoğlu also said during the interview that he was hopeful the new Iranian administration under the leadership of Hassan Rowhani, elected this week-end, would be more cooperative on Syria. “We hope that the new Iranian administration will understand the situation in Syria better than before, they will listen to the Syrian people more,” he said, adding that they expected Iran to “understand Syria” and contribute for a solution.
Davutoğlu also touched upon the ongoing Gezi Park protests that have entered their fourth week. He repeated his criticism of foreign media coverage, and especially of CNN’s reporting of the protests.
“I was shocked when I saw CNN International or some other international reporters, they used gas masks during the day when there was no tear gas being used, they broadcast as if there was a war. While, on the same days, thousands of people were being killed in Qusair, Syria, there was no coverage at all,” Davutoğlu said.
Foreign media outlets have become the target of the Turkish government while the domestic media networks were often criticized by the public for intentionally not covering the protests and the clashes that resulted from the police’s crackdown on demonstrators.