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Assad Warns Erdogan On Turkey’s Syria Policy

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s latest interview reveals again the deep personal enmity between him and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (R) speaks during an interview with Turkey's Halk TV in Damascus, in this handout photograph distributed by Syria's national news agency SANA on October 4, 2013. Assad has told Turkey it will pay a heavy price for backing rebels fighting to oust him, accusing it of harbouring "terrorists" along its border who would soon turn against their hosts. In an interview with Turkey's Halk TV due to be broadcast later on Friday, Assad called Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan "big

Turkey’s Halk TV aired an interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Oct. 3-4. Halk TV gained notoriety during the Gezi Park protests in June as one of the few channels reporting live from the streets. It is hardly considered mainstream in Turkish media, and has a reputation for being rather critical of the Turkish government.

Assad has been interviewed by Turkish media since the start of the civil war. However, during this interview, Assad was unexpectedly blunt and critical of the Turkish government, particularly of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Assad did not mince his words. He referred to Erdogan as “bigoted,” accused him of having the blood of Syrians on his hands and having exploited the presence of Syrian refugees in Turkey, while seeing the Gezi Park protests as the Turkish public’s rejection of Erdogan’s lies. This interview has escalated the war of words between the countries' leaders to a personal level.

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