Turkey warns Syria not to provoke regional crisis

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announcing sanctions against Syria, November 30, 2011

From Douglas Hamilton, Reuters:  Turkey warned Syria on Friday it would act to protect itself if a Syrian government crackdown on protesters threatened regional security and unleashed a tide of refugees on its borders.

At least 14 Syrians were shot dead as protesters took the streets following Friday prayers and ahead of a general strike called for Sunday, according to a network of anti-government activists reporting events to a website based in Britain.

Other activist sources put the toll as high as 30 dead. . . .

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu did not say what action Ankara might take, but he made clear Turkey would not hesitate to insulate the region’s security from tumult in Syria. Turkey shares a 900 km (560 mile) border with Syria.

"Turkey has no desire to interfere in anyone’s internal affairs. But if a risk to regional security arises, then we do not have the luxury of standing by and looking on," Davutoglu told reporters in Ankara.

"If a government that is fighting its own people and creating refugees, is putting not only their own security at risk but also that of Turkey, then we have a responsibility and the authority to say to them: ‘Enough!‘" he said. . . .

Davutoglu has proposed that contingency plans be made for a buffer zone along the Syrian border should violence escalate to the point where a mass exodus is threatened.  (photo: Getty)

Image: getty%2012%209%2011%20Davutoglu.jpg