Middle East

Syria urges nationals to avoid travel to Turkey: SANA

People hold a giant Turkish flag on June 1, 2013 in Amsterdam during a demonstration in solidarity with Turkish Taksim Square protesters in Istanbul. AFP PHOTO / ANP / EVERT ELZINGA

BEIRUT: Syria has recommended its nationals avoid travel to Turkey given recent protests against Prime Minister Reccep Tayyip Erdogan in its northern neighbor, SANA, quoting a Syrian Foreign Ministry source, reported Sunday.

“The Foreign Ministry recommends Syrian citizens not travel to Turkey at this time for their safety and security given the deteriorating security situation in several Turkish cities in the past few days and the violence committed by the Erdogan government against peaceful protesters,” a statement from the Foreign Ministry source to the state-run agency said.

Meanwhile, Syrian Information Minister Omran Zoabi urged Ankara to release “prisoners of conscious in Turkey because the government has no justification to hold this large number of peaceful protesters,” according to Sana.

Answering reporters’ questions, Zoabi said the use of “excessive violence was inappropriate to deal with the Turkish people and that the demonstrators are not terrorists.”

Zoabi said Erdogan still had the opportunity to cease the violence in Turkey and that the Turkish prime minister needed to respect the will of “his people and leave Turkey to Doha which might host him.”





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