Syrians being 'fed with fears'

2012-05-12 22:00

Tallinn - Turkey's ambassador to Syria said on Saturday the people of that country were being "fed with fears" about their fate should Bashar Assad's regime fall.

Speaking at the Lennart Meri Conference in the Estonian capital Tallinn, ambassador Omer Onhon decried conditions for the majority of Syrians, who he said have been led to believe the only alternative to Assad's authoritarian regime is civil war and religious radicalisation.

"Syrian people are fed with fears by their regime and need to be assured by (the) international community that the change of regime will not make things worse," Onhon said.

Although Turkey has spoken out against military intervention in its neighbouring country, Onhon also said that could change if life becomes unbearable for a critical mass of Syrians.

"We are strongly against any military intervention in Syria, but if we find one day 200 000 people from Syria at our borders, something should be done," Onhon said.

Turkey currently shelters about 26 000 Syrians who have fled the violent crackdown in their country.

Since Syrians rose up against Assad last year, more than 12 000 people have been killed, most of them civilians, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has said.

Hundreds have died since a supposed ceasefire was implemented last month.

The Tallinn conference was also attended by Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and several international foreign policy experts.

"If the Syrian regime goes, there will be some kind of rocky turbulence for some time," Bildt said.

The Lennart Meri Conference is named after the writer, filmmaker and diplomat Lennart Meri who was Estonian president in the 1990s and died in 2006.

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-05-13 05:59

    This is what dictators are masters in; creating fear !! The fact that these "leaders" only surround themselves with the ones who 24/7 praise them, they loose sight of reality. And they become totally convinced, that if they will go, chaos will follow. They are blinded, and don't realize, that chaos already exists, and that they are the cause of this. They are totally incapable to understand, that it would be their departure, which will bring 'their' country back to peace !!! Mugabe--Bashir--Mubarak--gaddafi--assad

  • maryjane.mphahlele - 2012-05-13 08:10

    why can't this people stop fighting?someone tell me,i don't understand

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-05-13 15:54

      An unelected dictator, who's family has been in power for 48 years, as long as the Apartheid regime, is using the state's resources that belong to the Syrian people, including its military, to try to hold onto power and earth.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-05-13 15:55

      ... power and wealth.

  • Dylan Dario Sciarappa - 2012-05-13 09:37

    Oh wise Anthony

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-05-13 11:18

      Yes Dylan, it is difficult for someone who supports DICTATORS, to accept the power of FEAR. It used to be like that in Cairo and than Tripoli, Today it is like this in Harare and Damascus; You go to the centre of these capitals and you start talking to anyone about their head of government; they will start whispering !!!!!! THAT IS FEAR, the pillars of a dictatorship. It is TYRANNY

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