Turkey calls for meeting with UN over Turkmens in Syria

Turkey seeks meeting with UN Security Council to discuss recent attacks on Turkmens in Syria, say official sources

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

The United Nations Security Council seen at meeting in the United Nations Manhattan borough of New York, February 17, 2015.

Turkey on Monday called for a UN Security Council meeting to discuss the recent attacks on Turkmens in Syria, sources in the prime minister's office have said.

The move comes days after Turkey summoned the Russian ambassador to protest against attacks carried out on Turkmen villages.

Around 5,000 Syrian Turkmen were forced to evacuate their villages and flee to the Syrian-Turkish border following an intense three day aerial bombardment of their villages by Russia and a ground assault by forces loyal to Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad.

The governor of the southern Turkish province of Hatay, Ercan Topaca, noted that at least 1,700 Turkmens have already entered Turkey but the number continues to rise with Russian air strikes being carried out on at least 14 Turkmen villages.

Official sources have reported that Turkey, which is in discussions with the United States and Russia over the bombing of villages, sent a letter to the United Kingdom, which currently holds the presidency of the security council, calling for the matter to be addressed. 

Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Sunday said that he remained in contact with both Chief of General Staff General Hulusi Akar and National Intelligence Organization (MIT) Undersecretary Hakan Fidan over the issue. 

"Our security forces have been instructed to retaliate against any development that would threaten Turkey’s border security," Davutoglu said.

Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu also spoke to his US counterpart John Kerry late on Friday in a phone call concerning the assaults on the Turkmen villages.

Turkey has been alarmed by the situation of Syrian Turkmens who were forced to flee and sought refuge in any place which they deem safe along the Syrian-Turkish border. They have stated that they are ready to meet the needs of the Turkmen refugees as the weather gets colder.

The president of the Syrian Turkmen council, Abdurrahman Mustafa said that "about 200 Turkmen families arrived in Yayladagi [refugee camp] and we are sending supplementary tents for them."

Turkmens are a Turkic ethnic group based largely in Iraq and neighboring Syria. The Turkmen community, which includes both Sunni and Shia Muslims, shares cultural ties with the Turkish people.

TRTWorld and agencies