Ankara hopes to see end to Russia's indiscriminate airstrikes with truce deal
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULFeb 24, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Feb 24, 2016 12:00 am
Speaking after the weekly Cabinet meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said on Monday that Turkey welcomes the planned cease-fire for Syria worked out by the United States and Russia and hopes that Moscow will now cease its airstrikes, which have killed civilians.
"We view it as possible that a cease-fire will be reached. We hope it will not be like previous cease-fires and will have the capacity to be implemented," he told reporters at a press conference after the Cabinet meeting.
"We hope that Russia, in its fight against DAESH, will not fly its jets and kill innocent people," while negotiations take place on an end to the five-year conflict, Kurtulmuş said.
Reiterating Ankara's position that Syria's Bashar Assad should step down, Kurtulmuş said: "Our wish is that those who have committed crimes against their people are not given a say over Syria's future.
He also drew attention to Ankara's increased efforts to manage the ongoing refugee crisis. The number of illegal migrants intercepted by Turkish security forces doubled in 2015 to 146,589 while the number captured on the Mediterranean and Aegean Sea had increased sixfold to 91,000, he said to illustrate the extent of the Syrian crisis and its far-reaching effects.
He repeated that the international community had not fulfilled its responsibilities for the humanitarian crisis and that Turkey has been left to shoulder the entire burden of the Syrian war.