Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Syrian government forces of breaking the truce he brokered with Russia, one of al-Assad regime’s main backers, but said Turkey was still trying to open a humanitarian corridor from the city.
President Erdogan said he would speak by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the situation in Aleppo, which he described as “very fragile”.
“The realization of the ceasefire brokered by Turkey’s intense efforts is perhaps the last hope for the innocent people in Aleppo,” Erdogan told a meeting of local administrators in the presidential palace in Ankara.
“This humanitarian corridor must be opened immediately, and the evacuation of civilians from eastern Aleppo must be allowed at once. Assad is committing war crimes in eastern Aleppo, and we cannot remain silent to the assassinations by the regime.”
Iran, another key Assad backer alongside Russia, was said to have imposed new conditions on the truce deal which were delaying its implementation.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke to his Iranian and U.S. counterparts on Wednesday to try to keep the agreement on track. He was also due to speak to the Russian foreign minister.
“There was an understanding as of yesterday, and within that was first the evacuation of civilians … We see that the regime and other groups are trying to prevent this,” Cavusoglu told reporters.
Also Turkey is negotiating with Russia to open a corridor to evacuate Syrian rebel fighters and civilians from the remaining opposition-held districts of Aleppo, but no agreement has yet been reached, Huffington Post reported.
“Efforts are still underway to open a corridor for the rebels and civilians in Aleppo, and evacuate them from the region. There has been no agreement on this issue yet,” the Turkish official said
“We’re seeing the most cruel form of savagery in Aleppo, and the regime and its supporters are responsible for this. The wounded are not being let out and people are dying of starvation,” he told a news conference in Ankara.
“However, we will continue our efforts. Even if everyone remains silent, we will not be silenced…We always come up with concrete proposals, but we saw that many countries were not sincere,” Cavusoglu said. Mevlut Cavusoglu said, speaking to the TGRT channel Wednesday, “We are trying hard to establish a cease-fire in the whole country (Syria)) and to start summits to find a political solution.”
In addition; Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus has said that the “humanity” is dying in Syria’s northern city of Aleppo.
“The humanity is dying in Aleppo. The ones dying in Aleppo are not only our brothers but all of humanity is dying over there,” Kurtulmus said.
Kurtulmus criticized the international community, saying: “This is not an issue that can be watched and glossed over anymore. This issue should be dealt with very quickly.” Moreover; Turkey’s Defense Minister Fikri Isik said that Ankara is doing its best to end suffering in the Syrian city of Aleppo. “Recent events in Aleppo are hurting the hearts of all of us in the name of humanity,” Isık told the media at the Yunus Emre Cultural Institute.
“Turkey is doing its best to come to terms with this crime against humanity as soon as possible,” he said.
“There was a cease-fire. We hope that this cease-fire will turn into a lasting peace,” he said.
Turkey didn’t withhold assistance from Aleppo and still protesting to war
Turkey’s IHH- The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief-sends aid convoy to Aleppo.
Organizing aid campaigns incessantly since the beginning of the Syrian fight, the Turkey-based IHH prepared a convoy to be sent to Aleppo from Istanbul, intending to draw interest on the dire situation of Aleppo, forsaken by the world.
Bülent Yıldırım, the general director of the IHH Foundation said in a public statement, “You, Muslim countries, why do you keep silent, while Turkey is doing the best it could as a mediator. We have to raise our voice so that Turkey has a strong hand on the table.”
“I hope that we will try to lift blockades and open roads and we will save our Muslim brothers alive from Aleppo through a common action with all political parties and NGOs, which are uncomfortable with the situation in Aleppo,” he added.
In his last words, he prayed, “May Allah save Aleppo, Damascus, and Jerusalem and swell the number of people, volunteering to risk their lives to convey aids like you. May your voyage be blessed. May Allah protect you.”
Alongside; Turkish NGOs and Marmara University launch large humanitarian aid campaigns sending food, water, and clothing for people besieged in Aleppo city.
The association’s Chairman, Hakki Aygun, said: “We are standing by our brothers in Aleppo. We are trying to organize aid efforts from every city of Turkey.”
Chairman of the union, Ali Yalcin, told Anadolu Agency: “Unfortunately, Aleppo has become the center of a human tragedy. They are facing a great amount of starvation.” Besides, Turkish students protest against ‘imperialist’ Russia’s Syria intervention. Students in Turkey demonstrated outside the Russian consulate demanding an end to Moscow’s military support for the Assad regime in Syria, which has seen tens of thousands killed.
“Thousands of people are losing their lives,” said Mehmet Akif Olgun, vice president of the National Turkish Students’ Association which organized the protest. In addition to that; Hundreds of Turkish and Syrian demonstrators assembled outside the Iranian consulate in Istanbul to blame Tehran for the failed start of a cease-fire deal that aimed to stop the bloodbath in Syria’s Aleppo.
The demonstrators shouted “Killer Iran, get out of Syria!” and held up banners that read “Save Aleppo”
Syria has been locked in a devastating civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests – which erupted as part of the “Arab Spring” uprisings – with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have been killed and millions more displaced by the conflict.