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Turkey: Deterrence failing, Ukraine crisis partly result of Syria inaction

May 16th, 2014
07:37 AM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

The international community’s decision not to intervene in Syria is directly linked to the crisis in Ukraine, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview on Thursday.

“Psychologically and also strategically, let me say, there is a link between the inability of international community to stop this bloodshed in Syria on the situation in Ukraine.”

"The deterrence of international community has been deteriorating in last three years," he said.

“So you think,” Amanpour said, “the deterrence has been deteriorating because of Syria over the last three years.”

“Yeah, of course,” he responded.

Davutoğlu was in London Thursday for a meeting of the “Friends of Syria”, an alliance of countries opposed to the rule of Bashar al-Assad.

A U.N.-brokered attempt to get the Assad regime and opposition to negotiate a peace deal in Geneva seems to have completely fallen apart.

“Something must change,” Davutoğlu told Amanpour.

“A dictator who committed so many crimes against humanity cannot survive – this way or other way, he lost all legitimacy.”

“If he survives today, it is not because of his success to gain the heart of the people, but it is because of the inability of international community to stop this machinery of killing.”

The United States, and the West at large, has appeared reluctant to become entangled in the Syrian civil war.

President Barack Obama set a “red-line” for the Assad regime – the use of chemical weapons – but when that line was crossed he opted for a Russia-brokered diplomatic deal with the Syrian regime, rather than forceful intervention.

“We cannot reduce this problem only to the attitude of President Obama’s administration,” Davutoğlu said. “But in general, the international community has failed.”

“United States is a leading world power, in fact the main leading world power. All of us, we have responsibility to protect the lives of Syrian citizens and the basic norms of the international community.”

“If we tell to Syrian people … international community will not act because of the absence of U.N. Security Council, we will not help you and you cannot defend yourself, what is the option for them? Waiting to be killed? This should not be the option for anyone in the world.”

Amanpour and Davutoğlu also spoke about the Turkish mine disaster. You can watch that section of the interview here.


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • Syria
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Iyad Rafidi

    Regarding Syria there is no doubt that Assad is a tyrant. The rebels however are backed by Saudi and Turkey regimes verging on religious extremism, who have a vested interest in arming the rebels and deposing Assad. Who will replace him in this futile war but a Sunni religious extremist who will go to war against the Christians, Shiites and other denominations. There is no democracy or an ideal government that will be for all the people at the end of this battle. This is an issue with US policy and interests through out the middle east Israel included.

    May 16, 2014 at 6:49 pm | Reply
  2. George K. Papadopoulos

    International law, UN resolutions, decisions of the European Court of Human Rights mean nothing to His Excellency. We get an idea of what he is after from his participation in recent highly secret meeting, revealed in Turkey's social media, showing that Turkey was planning an invasion of Syria on made-up fake events in an Ottoman monument in Syria, a planned covert action that the Turkish Secret Services know all too well: they have admitted the fake bombing of the Turkish Consulate in Thessaloniki in September 1955, that led to the pogrom of Greeks (mainly), Armenians and Jews in Istambul, as well as several bombings of mosques and other offices in Cyprus in the 1950s and 1960s, in order to fanatize the then peaceful Turkish Cypriots....If you repeatedly violate international law you can hardly cry wolf!

    May 17, 2014 at 7:06 am | Reply
  3. Zeljko

    http://www.blic.rs/Vesti/Drustvo/465872/Balkan-nije-video-ovakve-poplave-vise-od-100-godina

    May 17, 2014 at 7:09 pm | Reply
  4. huseyin aydogan

    yurular ilgi alanina giriyosa bu yoru kutusunun anlami neder .

    May 18, 2014 at 11:56 am | Reply
  5. Endy Zemenides

    For Foreign Minister Davutoglu to argue that international inaction in Syria was the precedent in Ukraine and not to be challenged on the statement is a failure on Ms. Amanpour's part.

    It is Davutoglu's own country that provided the roadmap for Vladimir Putin with its illegal invasion and 40 year occupation of Cyprus (http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116931/putin-invades-crimea-nazi-analogy-isnt-best-europe).

    Russia is well aware of what crimes Turkey has gotten away with on Cyprus – it even uses similar disingenuous justifications for its actions in Ukraine.

    Unless journalists like Ms. Amanpour begin pointing out Turkey's hypocrisy, we can count on more and more Crimeas in the years to come.

    May 18, 2014 at 4:06 pm | Reply
  6. Bill Thanoukos

    Ms. Amanpour –

    Why give the pass to Davutoglu on his country's example of invasion and occupation?

    To let him criticize the international community without pointing out this same community has this far let Turkey get away with the same borders on journalistic malpractice.

    May 18, 2014 at 4:13 pm | Reply
  7. Tasos Zambas

    Ms Amanpour –

    Did you intentionally avoid pointing out Turkey's invasion of Cyprus as a more relevant precedent, or do you not know this history?

    May 18, 2014 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  8. George Mavrakis

    Ms. Amanpour –

    As Davutoglu was talking to you about Ukraine, did it not strike you that he precedent for Putin's actions in Crimea was staring you in the face.

    To let the occupier of Cyprus lecture you about the precedents set by the international community (and to cite Syria – which Davutoglu himself helped mess up) is a bit much, don't you think?

    May 18, 2014 at 4:24 pm | Reply
  9. Sophia Cotzia

    If Amanpour knew how to do more than toss softballs to Davutoglu, we could've had the following question:

    Mr Minister –

    In 1974, your country invaded and forcibly divided Cyprus – claiming that it was protecting Turkish Cypriots.

    40 years later – while the international community has allowed Turkey to maintain its occupation of Cyprus – Russia invades Crimea and cuts it off from Ukraine while claiming to protect Russian speakers.

    Isn't the international community's inaction on Cyprus more relevant than the example of Syria?

    May 18, 2014 at 4:35 pm | Reply
  10. Elizabeth Papanicolaou

    The media has unfortunately given insufficient attention to Turkey's occupation of Cyprus – mostly because it doesn't fit into its motto of "if it bleeds, it leads."

    But now, the precedent Turkey set in Cyprus is being followed by Russia in Ukraine and still Ms. Amanpour is silent. Shame on her and CNN.

    May 18, 2014 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  11. Jonathan Vasdekas

    Mr. Davutoglu loves to use the term 'crimes against humanity' so much, but it strikes me as appalling that Ms. Amanpour either forgot or was afraid to ask about the crimes against humanity Turkey commits on a daily basis in Cyprus. Perhaps she was intimidated because Turkey is famous for jailing journalists that oppose its 'official views'? Turkey has helped create an international precedence of invading a sovereign country with international inaction, and this needs to stop. Turkey is not the beacon of democracy or liberalism it likes to advertises itself as. The Cyprus issue is not over, and it until it is peacefully resolved, Turkey and other countries (see Russia) will continue to invade sovereign nations!

    May 18, 2014 at 9:34 pm | Reply
  12. Dennis Echelberg

    This issue is irrelevant to Cyprus.

    1) Before Crimea annexation, there was no fight between Ukranians and Russians in that area. It was peaceful. But before Turkish action in Cyprus, Turkihs&Greek communities started to kill each other, so an intervention was unavoidable.

    2) Greeks should stop whining that Turkish army invade their lands and made them suffer. Greek action of Enosis(EOKA-B) in Cyprus led Turkish Cypriots suffer way before the intervention of Turkish army. Greek-Cypriot extremists committed massacres and crimes against Turkish-Cypriots in Maratha, Santalaris, Aloda, Tochni and Kiti. Remember why European Council announced in 1974 that Turkish intervention in Cyprus is legal!!

    3) Turkish minister is talking about violation of human rigths, but it's just in Turkey where police is beating protesters brutally; killing or permanently injuring citizens. Talking about President Erdogan's record of abusing his own citizens is also worthy to mention of "violation of human rights".

    Greeks in this forum should more focus on how to pay their debts to EU. Whole world is fed up with their useless claims of Cyprus. It is ridiculous to connect every issue to Cyprus intervention and asking for revenge. Maybe it is time to work hard and pay the bills with your own money?

    I think Amanpour&CNN did a good job here; although I would expect her to question Prime Minister Erdogan's human rights performance
    in Turkey when Davutoglu mentioned violation of human rights in Syria.

    May 18, 2014 at 11:46 pm | Reply
    • Dean Tsilikas

      Wrong, wrong, wrong.

      There is not a single legal ruling in Europe - or anywhere other than Turkey - saying that Turkey's 1974 invasion is legal. EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE, including a ruling as recently as last week by the European Court of Human Rights.

      What protection of Turkish Cypriots? Cite the evidence of fighting between Greek and Turkish Cypriots right before the invasion (don't give me examples from 1967), or the evidence of any harm to Turkish Cypriots between Attila I and Attila II. Also, explain the unfettered (almost 20 million crossings) of the Green Line (line of Turkish occupation) without incident.

      This is a deliberate falsification of both the history of Cyprus and current affairs.

      May 20, 2014 at 1:37 pm | Reply
  13. Chinese

    Assad should stay, Putin must go

    May 21, 2014 at 11:51 am | Reply

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