Turkey PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan 'not to start Syria war'

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PostThu Oct 04, 2012 7:18 pm » by Icarus1

Turkey's PM has said his country has no intention of starting a war, after parliament in Ankara authorised military action inside Syria.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the authorisation was purely deterrence but he also warned that his country's determination should not be tested.

Parliament earlier approved military action in response to Syria's deadly shelling of a Turkish town.

Thousands of Turks have gathered to protest against any war with Syria.

Turkey's parliament passed a bill on Thursday by 320 to 129 authorising troops to launch cross-border operations against Syria and strikes against Syrian targets for the period of one year.

The closed-doors, emergency session vote followed Wednesday's shelling of the Turkish town of Akcakale, which killed two women and three children.

Turkey responded by shelling targets inside Syria - the first time it had done so in the 18-month-long unrest there.

Syria's UN envoy said two Syrian army officials were injured in the retaliatory shelling.
'No to war!'

Mr Erdogan said at a news conference on Thursday evening: "We could never be interested in something like starting a war."

But he added: "The Turkish Republic is a state capable of defending its citizens and borders. Nobody should try and test our determination on this subject."

There were reports on Thursday evening that thousands of people had gathered in Istanbul's Taksim Square for an anti-war rally.

The demonstrators were chanting: "No to war! Peace now! We won't be soldiers of imperialists!".

Other, smaller anti-war protests were reported in Izmir, Mersin, Eskisehir and other cities and towns.

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