Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said that the Syrian administration probably listens to criticism leveled against the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) Syria policy by Turkish opposition parties to boost its morale.
Speaking on a television program on the state-owned Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) network, Davutoglu said that the country needs to take certain precautions concerning the situation near the Syrian border.
"This is not a declaration of war or a step toward war," Davutoglu said about a recent motion in Parliament that gives the government the authority to send troops to Syria if necessary.
Five people, three of them children, were killed last week when mortar shells fired from Syria hit the town of Akçakale in Şanlıurfa near the border. There has been a continuous exchange of artillery fire between Syria and Turkey since the deaths.
The foreign minister said Turkey's opposition politicians and certain media outlets have been openly undermining the government. "The opposition and some press groups are creating such an air that I wonder why they don't have such commentators in the Syrian press. The Syrian president, condemned by the entire world, probably follows our opposition and some of our television networks to generate morale. At certain hours I watch Syrian and Arab networks. Even they are not as critical as some of our television networks." He said opposition parties and certain media outlets are trying to create the impression that Turkey is attacking Syria without cause.
The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), however, has been supportive of the government's retaliatory policies. "It is only Baathist immorality and a calamity to claim that those mortar shells fell on the Turkish side by accident. It is a betrayal of reason and logic to throw back roses at those who stage an open attack on our nation."
MHP leader Devlet Bahcheli, speaking at the inauguration of a municipal bread factory in Samsun's İlkadım district, criticized the government's refugee policy. "The inflow of refugees (from Syria) to Turkey has brought much instability. There are possibly many Syrian and other country's spies among these (refugees). The events in Syria are negatively affecting Turkey's unity," Bahcheli said, adding that Syrian regime also supports the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
Bahcheli called on the government to correct the mistakes it has made in Syrian policy.