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No: 96, 26 March 2014, Press Release Regarding Recent Developments in Latakia / Kesap and Unfounded Allegations in the Press on this Matter

The allegations by some circles that Turkey is providing support to the opposition forces by letting them use its territory or through some other ways during the conflict which have intensified recently in the Latakia/Kesab region are totally unfounded and untrue.

We consider the efforts of such circles, moving from these claims, to draw an analogy between the developments in the Kesab region and the painful incidents of the past as a confrontational political propaganda attempt and particularly condemn it.

Turkey is the country most affected by the conflict caused by the policy of violence and aggression of the regime in Syria which left its mark on the past three years. On the one hand, we have been trying to eliminate the threats and attacks against our national security as was the case on 23 March, on the other hand, we have been mobilizing all our capability to do what is required by international humanitarian law and common conscience with regard to embracing all Syrians who fled from the atrocities of the regime, regardless of their ethnic, religious or sectarian background.

In this context, about 800 thousand Syrians are being curently provided shelter in Turkey and efforts are being made to meet all their needs to the extent possible.

In accordance with its humanitarian and conscientious responsibility, Turkey notified the relevant UN bodies that Syrian Armenians residing in Kesep region could be admitted in Turkey too and protection could be provided to them. Also, the representatives of the Armenian community were informed of the matter through official channels. Contacts on this issue are underway. Necessary steps will be taken to meet the needs of Syrian Armenians as is the case for all other Syrians.