Conflict & Justice

Turkey's prime minister rebukes UN, says another Bosnian massacre possible


Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan arrives in the stands before the FIFA World Cup 2014 qualification football match between Turkey and Romania in Istanbul, on October 12, 2012.



The longer the world waits to intervene in Syria, the greater the risk of atrocities not seen since Bosnia in the 1990s, Turkey’s prime minister warned today.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan offered stinging criticism of the UN Security Council as a UN observer was set to arrive in that country for talks about the 19-month Syrian civil war, Reuters reported.

Erdogan said if China and Russia can continually veto resolutions to curb violence in Syria, then the UN Security Council is broken.

“How sad is (it) that the United Nations is as helpless today as it was 20 years ago when it watched the massacre of hundreds of thousands of people in the Balkans, Bosnia and Srebrenica,” he said in Istanbul.

The Security Council needs reform, Erdogan said at an international conference, since it isn’t representing the will of the international community.

More from GlobalPost: Syria conflict continues to spill across Turkey’s borders

“If we wait for one or two of the permanent members ... then the future of Syria will be in danger,” the PM said, according to The Associated Press.

Turkey’s role is the Syrian conflict continues to grow after Turkish jets forced a Syrian Air passenger plane to land in Ankara on Wednesday.

Turkey had intelligence that said the plane carried Russian-made military equipment destined for President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Damascus.

Russia said the cargo was legal radar equipment.

In addition, forces on both sides of the border have exchanged weapons fire.

The AP reported that Syria favored a communication link with Turkey to ease tensions between the neighbors, as proposed by Russia.

There was no confirmation from Turkey that the Russians had presented the offer yet, the AP said.

Also today, UN envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi was to meet with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Arab representatives and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

Turkey is a NATO member, and Westerwelle said it is crucial to reduce tension over Syria, Al Jazeera reported.

“It is important that no one pours oil on the fire. We are counting on moderation and de-escalation,” Westerwelle told Al Jazeera.

More from GlobalPost: What’s behind the Russia-Turkey spat regarding Syria?