U.S. and West insensitive towards Syria

Turkish Deputy PM says if the urgency shown in Ukraine was shown in Syria the Syrian situation was not going to be like it is right now

Turkish Deputy PM says if the urgency shown in Ukraine was shown in Syria the Syrian situation was not going to be like it is right now

WASHINGTON – If more urgency had been shown by the international community in dealing with Syria as it has been done in case of Ukraine then the Syrian situation might have been different and inaction in Syria is also to be blamed for Russian power permutation, said Turkish Deputy PM on a visit to Washington on Monday.

Besir Atalay on a visit to Anadolu Agency's recently opened Washington Bureau said he had met the new U.S. Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson to discuss the situation in Syria. 

Atalay said they discussed the fight against terrorism and that some terrorist organizations are on the U.S. agenda. However he stressed again that dealing with the terrorist threat from groups in Syria has become more difficult due to delayed intervention in Syria.

Atalay said, “It's easy to have a table talk on Syria in Washington however we have a thousand km long border, relatives live on both sides. It's impossible for them to hear, understand and live the difficulties we are going through.”

He again stressed that the Syria opposition was not supported by the international community. He added, "The United States and the West continue their sensitivity regarding organizations like Al-Qaeda while we are telling them that you are the reason for their emergence."

Atalay said Johnson accepted his invitation to visit Turkey and the Syrian refugee camps on Turkey's border. He added that Turkey has opened its doors to more than one million Syrian refugees - 230 thousand of these are in camps on the border. Turkey has spent more than $3 billion on these refugees so far, but "has not seen any assistance from the international community in this regard" said Atalay.

Atalay said that he discussed bilateral cooperation in security and fight against terrorism in his meeting with Assistant National Security Adviser Tony Blinken and drew attention to Armenian resolutions discussed at Foreign Relations Committee of the U.S. Senate and 5-6 resolutions regarding Turkey brought to U.S. Congress. 

Replying a question whether Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's latest statement regarding the 1915 incidents was discussed during his contacts Atalay said, “The statement of the Prime Minister regarding the Armenian issue was the most advanced step. We always intended to solve this problem. We have always said that this kind of advanced steps must be taken, historians should work, let's open all archives and solve the problems. Neither U.S. President nor the White House has referred to Prime Minister Erdogan's statement. They pretended that they did but actually they didn't because it was mere a comment made by the U.S. State Department Spokesperson. Now they say that they will make a statement."

Criticizing supply of Apache helicopters to Egypt Atalay said, “God willing the Egyptian government steps back on death penalties while many people have already been killed in peaceful demonstrations in Egypt however the United States and West have displayed contradiction in this regard and failed to put forward a clear stance against the coup.”

Atalay said Turkey has done its part as a NATO member however Turkey has different relations with Russia because of Crimea and the situation of Crimean Tatars is very important for Turkey.

"Erdogan has expressed his condolences over the Armenian people who lost their lives. But again Armenia did not reply positively.”

The details behind the incidents in 1915 continue to be a contentious issue between Turkey and Armenia which has kept relations sour between the two neighbors.

The 1915 incidents took place during World War I when a portion of the Armenian population living in the Ottoman Empire sided with the invading Russians and uprose against the Ottoman authority. The uprisings were followed by a relocation decision of the Ottoman Empire concerning Armenians living in eastern Anatolia.

Turkey says that both Turks and Armenians died during clashes between Ottoman forces and armed Armenian groups backed by Russia.  

Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan’s message has been well received by Armenians living in Turkey’s southeastern region.

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