Turkey has warned Iran “not to spoil” the Syrian leadership whose security forces have been cracking down on protesters since mid-March, a Turkish daily quoted Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying Friday.
Erdogan told the daily Hurriyet, “I cannot say there has been tension with Iran but we warned them (the Iranians) that ‘the Assad administration is getting spoiled with your encouragement.’”
Erdogan said he had discussed the matter with the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
“Later he sent an envoy. We talked with him too. There has been a change in their approach,” Erdogan said.
Turkey has expressed frustration with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his ironfisted regime for failing to listen to the people, whose almost daily demonstrations for democracy have been met with violent repression, at a cost of more than 2,600 lives according to the United Nations.
Iran is concerned about the possible collapse of its principle ally in the Middle East and has never condemned Syria for the violence while suppressing mass protests, as it has supported similar protests in other Arab countries.
Tehran accuses its traditional foes Israel and the United States of stirring up trouble in Syria.
Erdogan said he would dispatch intelligence chief Hakan Fidan to Iran to discuss the developments in Syria, adding that he may meet with Ahmadinejad on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly meetings next week.
“I might also go (to Iran) later,” he said.