Assad has reached a 'dead end'-Turkish President
Turkey: Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad has reached a "dead end" but
only internal forces can bring about change, Turkish President Abdullah
Gul said Monday, in an interview with the Guardian. Speaking on the eve
of a three-day state visit to Britain, Gul warned that Assad's
back-tracking on reforms agreed by the Arab League had made
international negotiation impossible.
"It's quite too late for that sort of thing now," he told the British
newspaper. "He seems to have opted for a different route. And frankly we
do not have any more trust in him. "Syria is now at a dead end, so
change is inevitable," Gul said. "But we don't believe the right way to
create change is through external intervention. The people must make
Gul urged former ally Assad to relinquish power without a struggle,
adding that "everything must be done" to prevent a civil war.
However, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier Monday
said foreign intervention could not be ruled out completely over Assad's
refusal to end the bloody crackdown on protesters.
"You can remain in power with tanks and cannons only up to a certain
point. The day will come when you'll also leave," Erdogan told a meeting
in Is tanbul.
"Someone shows up and says 'I'll fight and die.' Against whom will
you fight? Will you fight against your Muslim brothers you rule in your
country?" Erdogan asked.
The prime minister was referring to an interview with Assad published
in London's Sunday Times in which the Syrian leader vowed to fight and
die if faced with foreign intervention. Turkey has become increasingly
vocal in its criticism of Assad after its diplomatic missions came under
attack by pro-government demonstrators in several Syrian cities earlier