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31st Aug 2013

Ankara, (Hurriyet Daily News):  Turkey has been chastened by the U.K.’s decision not to participate in military action against Syria over alleged chemical weapons use, but is still hoping to proceed with an intervention together with U.S. support.
“The Americans, like us, are sure that a response should be given to the use of chemical weapons. We are of the opinion that the U.S. will go into action following internal deliberations,” a Turkish Foreign Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Hürriyet Daily News on Aug. 30.
The British Parliament refused to authorize the government to become involved in military action against Syria on Aug. 29, while France and Germany have also signaled they would not take part in such military intervention in Syria.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, speaking to reporters on Aug. 30, played down the potential impact of the U.K. vote on an international intervention into Syria.

“These kinds of discussions and the emergence of different voices are natural in democratic countries,” Davutoğlu said.

Days after declaring that Turkey would take part in any international coalition that would move against the Syrian regime, Davutoğlu warned the international community over the heavy cost of absence of any penalty against the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons.

The absence of such a penalty will set a precedent for certain groups or countries possessing chemical weapons as they will feel encouraged to use these weapons since they will have the conviction that their actions will go unpunished, Davutoğlu said.

Just before Davutoğlu gathered with correspondents in front of the Foreign Ministry headquarters, the semi-official Anadolu Agency posted reports suggesting that it has been proven that the perpetrator of the chemical attack in Syria was the regime. Anadolu provided details concerning the attack and how the Syrian regime forces were involved, but only cited anonymous sources. However, the agency said the same reports that were used as the source of their report had also been conveyed to the Turkish government.

“It is the regime’s responsibility without a doubt,” Davutoğlu said, when asked about the agency report, noting that all technical details concerning the attack proved that it was done by government forces.

“The Syrian regime is responsible for the chemical attack in eastern Ghouta. Current information suggests that the opposition has no such sophisticated weapons,” he said. “Health information which we obtained through our national intelligence sources and our assessments through other sources openly shows from two aspects that the responsible party is the regime,” he said, citing those aspects as the delivery mechanism and the delivery scenes of the weapons.

The minister’s remarks indicated that the report that was the source for the agency was the National Intelligence Service (MİT).

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Sectarianism in the Middle East and its rise in the UK, Standpoint, Sahar TV. Interview 29 May 2013 and aired on 12 June 2013

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