- Global Voices - https://globalvoices.org -

Turkey: Thousands Protest in Istanbul Against War on Syria

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Turkey, Human Rights, Politics

Turkey's military hasĀ attacked Syrian targets [1] in response to the killing of five Turkish civilians [2] by Syrian government forces. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's office issued a statement [3] immediately afterwards, saying:

Our armed forces in the border region responded immediately to this abominable attack in line with their rules of engagement; targets were struck through artillery fire against places in Syria identified by radar.

The Turkish parliament has passed a year-long mandate [4] which approves cross-border military action. The motion was passed by 320 votes in the 550-seat Turkish parliament.

Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister has said in a statement that authorising the use of force in Syria does not amount to a declaration of war, but acts as a preventive measure. This was followed by a statement from Turkey's Prime Minister [5], who said:

All we want in this region is peace and security. We have no intention of starting war. We are aware of the outcome, consequences, of war in Iraq and Afghanistan … we see the same in Syria.

The state-run Syrian News Agency (SANA [6]) released an immediate statement saying Syrian authorities are offering sincere condolences to the families of the deceased and the Turkish people.

More than 5,000 protesters [7] took to the streets of Istanbul against a possible war with Syria. On Thursday night, the demonstration was against AK party, protesters chanted:

The AKP wants war, the people want peace. No to war, peace right now.

Cherine Atalla tweeted this [8] picture from the protest, which reads “Hands off Syria”:


A sign at the Istanbul anti-war protest which reads Hands off Syria, shared by @Cherine_89 [9] on Twitter. Reposted with permission.

In Turkey, the slogan Savasa hayir [10], which means “no to war,” became top trending topic among Twitter users on Thursday morning. And since the cross-border military action mandate has been approved, social networks have been divided on the issue, creating a firestorm of opinions from activists, pundits and the like.

From Turkey, Hulya Ataoglu tweeted:

@cramelin [11]: #savasahayir #notowar No to war, not now, not ever.

Ozgur Gurbuz, from Istanbul, says:

@ozzgurbuz [12]: Peace is the only way #noWar #savasahayir from Istanbul. Getting more and more here.

Thousands protest against war on Syria in Istanbul [13]

Thousands protest against war on Syria in Istanbul. Photo shared by @zappika [14] on Twitter

And Sarper Ere [13] tweets a picture above from the protest against war with Syria, commenting “Peace at home, peace at world”.