Syria unrest: Turkish nationals urged to return home

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16 March 2012 Last updated at 07:25 ET

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Turkey has urged its citizens to leave Syria, saying developments there have led to “serious security risks”.

The foreign ministry said in a statement that some consular services would be halted on 22 March.

Meanwhile PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested a safe zone along the border, where refugee numbers have risen sharply in recent days.

The news comes as Syria marks the first anniversary of the uprising, which has left more than 8,000 people dead.

The UN and Arab League envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, is due to address the UN Security Council on his peace efforts.

Anti-government activists have called for mass protests across Syria to demand “immediate military intervention”.

The Turkish foreign ministry statement said consular services at its embassy in Damascus would end at the end of office hours next Thursday, but the consulate in the second city of Aleppo would remain open.

“Developments in Syria pose serious security risks for our nationals,” the statement said.

“Therefore it is strongly recommended that Turkish nationals currently in Syria leave and return home.”

Mr Erdogan said he would also consider withdrawing Turkey’s ambassador once all its citizens had returned.

In : World News

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