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Turkish opposition leader against military intervention in Syria

(Xinhua)

13:50, March 19, 2012

ISTANBUL, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Turkish main opposition party leader said on Sunday that he is against getting militarily involved in Syria and called the unrest-hit country a "brother."

Republican People's Party Chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu said in the central Anatolian province of Nigde that some world powers appear to be pressing Turkey to intervene in Syria while they themselves choose to stay away from the trouble.

Today's Zaman quoted him as saying that "some countries avoid entering Syria but try to talk Turkey into doing it," noting that the United States, Britain and France all seem determined to avoid militarily involvement in Syria.

"Why should we go into Syria? Syria is our neighbor, brother. Why should Muslim nations fire at each other?" questioned Kilicdaroglu, who is also skeptical of Turkish military presence in Afghanistan after 12 military personnel got killed in a helicopter crash in Kabul last week.

Turkey has already signaled that it may intervene militarily to establish a safety zone to deal with the massive influx of Syrian refugees.

"A buffer zone, a security zone is being studied," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters on Friday while his deputy, Besir Atalay, said the move, which was considered but rejected last year, is again on the table.

However, some analysts said a buffer zone is likely to lead to confrontation between Turkish and Syrian troops.

Turkey, once a close ally to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has become increasingly critical of his government for its alleged crackdown on protesters since last March.

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