Turks slam Ankara’s support for militant groups in Syria

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Asia
Tuesday, 21 May 2013

turks slamTurkish police have attacked demonstrators protesting against Ankara’s support for the militant groups in Syria.

In the Turkish capital, police on Saturday clashed with demonstrators and fired teargas to disperse the

crowd. Several protesters were injured in the incident.

The protesters chanted slogans against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party.

Public outrage has grown in Turkey over two car bomb attacks in the town of Reyhanli in the southern province of Hatay. Over 50 people died in the May 11 bombings.

Clashes also broke out between Turkish security forces and angry protesters in Reyhanli on Saturday. Security forces used water cannons to disperse the crowd.

The demonstrators chanted anti-government slogans and slammed Ankara over failure to maintain security in the town.

Meanwhile, thousands of people took to the streets of the city of Antakya in Hatay. The protesters called on Erdogan and his ruling party to step down.

Demonstrators held up signs that read, “Erdogan! The bombings happened in Reyhanli not America” - which referred to the Turkish premier’s recent visit to the US.

Turkish demonstrators and the opposition say the United States and the Turkish government are trying to pull the nation into a sectarian war. They also say the crisis in Syria has begun to spill over into Turkey.

Hatay Governor Mehmet Celalettin Lekesiz told reporters on May 17 that police had detained a prime suspect in connection with the Reyhanli explosions.

The suspect, identified as Mehmet G., is said to be the owner of the two vehicles that were blown up in the attacks. He is of Turkish origin and comes from Hatay.

Turkey says the Syrian government was behind the May 11 bombings, but Damascus has dismissed the claim.

Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoabi said on May 12 that Syria “did not commit and would never commit such an act because our values would not allow that.”

The Syrian minister also stated that Turkey had planned the attacks to use them as a pretext to justify foreign intervention in Syria.

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