Syrian oppressors 'will not stand', Turkish prime minister Erdogan tells Libyans

Published Date: 17 September 2011
TURKISH prime minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan told cheering Libyans on a visit to Tripoli yesterday that Syria's oppressors "will not stand", in his strongest attack yet on president Bashar al-Assad.
"You are the ones who showed the whole world that no administration can stand in the way of the might and will of the people," Mr Erdogan said, as many chanted "Turkey, Turkey".

He added: "Do not forget this: Those in Syria who inflict repression on the people will not be able to stand on their feet because oppression and prosperity cannot exist together."

Mr Erdogan ended a North African tour in Libya, stressing Turkey's role in supporting anti-Gaddafi forces, a day after after French president Nicolas Sarkozy and Prime Minister David Cameron were received as heroes. Ahead of an expected visit to Benghazi, he appealed directly to people in Sirte to: "Embrace your brothers in Tripoli. Spilling blood does not suit us, let us come together."

Turkey was once a major ally of Syria, but has grown increasingly angry as Damascus defies calls to stop its seven-month crackdown on pro-reform demonstrations resulting in the killing of almost 3,000 protesters. Syrian troops killed six farmers when they raided a village in Deraa province yesterday, local activists said.