Turkey urges Syria to impose reforms as protests rage

On day when 8 protesters killed throughout Syria, Turkish FM says it is possible to end unrest by using "shock therapy."

May 27, 2011 19:49
1 minute read.
Thousands of Syrians protest in Banias

Syrian masses protest 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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On a day when eight people were killed during anti-government demonstrations throughout Syria, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was quoted on Friday as saying that Syrian President Bashar Assad should deliver "shock therapy" reforms to end the bloody protests.

Davutoglu's words are among the most forceful by a Turkish official, highlighting Turkey's growing concern over a crisis that has sparked world outrage.

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In comments carried by state-run Anatolian, Davutoglu said he believed it was possible for Syria to end the unrest but that the "treatment" should feature "shock therapy," including reforms on the economy, security, politics and the judiciary.

The comments, made in an interview with a Turkish television channel late on Thursday, were repeated in a separate interview with the New York Times, in which Davutoglu said: "Now what [Assad] needs is shock therapy to gain the heart of his people."

Davutoglu's comments came as three protesters were shot dead as live fire was used to disperse hundreds of protesters in the Qatana suburb east of the capital Damascus, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Also on Friday, Syrian security forces killed four protesters in the southern town of Daal as demonstrations demanding the removal of Assad swept the area, residents and activists said.

An additional protester was killed in an incident near the Lebanon border. In the city of Albu Kamal on the Iraqi border, protesters burned pictures of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, whose speech in Beirut this week in support of Assad infuriated demonstrators, activists and a tribal leader in the province told Reuters by phone, adding security forces had withdrawn from the streets of Albu Kamal.

Foreign correspondents are barred from Syria and witness reports are hard to verify independently.

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turmoil in the Middle East

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