Turkey wants 'government without Assad' in Syria


Turkey’s Justice and Development (AK) Party Deputy Chairman Celik has clarified that there has been no change in Turkey’s policy over the Assad regime

ANKARA – Turkey wants a transitional government in Syria without Bashar al-Assad, Turkey’s Justice and Development (AK) Party Deputy Chairman Omer Celik told reporters in Ankara on Thursday. 

Celik denied claims that Turkey was ready to accept a period in Syria with al-Assad at the helm.

“There is no change in Turkey’s policy over Syria in terms of basic parameters and dynamics,” he said, adding: “There has been no progress [in Syria] which [would in turn] require a change [in Turkey’s policy].

“What Turkey is looking for in Syria is a transitional government without Assad that reflects the will of its people,” he said.

“It is out of the question to establish and maintain peace and stability in Syria with a sect-based state, which has killed so many of its own people and that relies on just 10 percent of its total population,” he said.

About Assad’s recent meeting with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Moscow, the AK Party deputy chairman said: “The visit will do great harm to the democratic efforts of Syrian people if it has been done with the aim of providing a legitimate image for Assad.”

Reiterating Turkey’s demand for a safe zone in Syria, Celik said that European countries were not emphasizing enough over the importance of such a move.