‘The pros and cons of intervention’: Turkish view
THIS is apropos of Irfan Husain’s article ‘The pros and cons of intervention’ (Oct 15). The article is full of erroneous information about Turkey.
The writer shows a lack of historical knowledge because the article is based on secondhand information derived from a single odd personal acquaintance of the writer.
For instance, his friend Habib apparently makes no mention that the people of Hatay (a province which was part and parcel of the Ottoman Empire for centuries until it was invaded by the French during the World War II) have willingly chosen to rejoin the motherland, Turkey, through a plebiscite in 1939.
I am also astonished over the precedence the writer has given to Mr Habib’s grumblings over the genuine sufferings of millions of Syrians.
The writer’s choice of words shows his lack of sympathy towards Turkey, unlike the majority of Pakistanis. Nevertheless, I would have still expected him to side with the people of Syria and their legitimate demands as opposed to a dictator who is massacring his compatriots.
Apparently, Mr Habib, in his narrative, made no mention of the Hama massacre that resulted in the killing of about 40,000 Syrians at the hands of Bashar Assad’s father. Thus, the sufferings endured by the Syrian people are not a new phenomenon.
Turkey, a secular country, is itself home to Alawites, Jews and Christians who coexist peacefully. Therefore, we do not favour one religion or sect over the other in our policy towards Syria.
Regardless of their religious or sectarian affiliations, we have chosen to — and will always — side with the people of Syria rather than a dictator.
I hope the writer will also choose to be on the right side of history, meaning the innocent civilians who demand nothing but their legitimate rights.
M. BABUR HIZLAN
Ambassador of Turkey