By Fulya Ozerkan
ANKARA — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Tuesday urged Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad to step down, branding him a coward and warning that he risked the same fate of dictators who met bloody deaths.
In his fiercest criticism yet of his one-time ally, Erdogan also ridiculed Assad for pledging to fight to the death against domestic opponents while being unwilling to risk his life to retake the occupied Golan Heights from Israel.
„Quit power before more blood is shed … for the peace of your people, your region and your country,” Erdogan told the Turkish parliament in Ankara.
After weeks of mounting criticism of the Syrian president, it was the first time the Turkish premier had directly called for his removal from power.
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