The conflict in Syria took on a new dimension on 3rd October, when Syrian government forces shelled the Turkish border town of Akçakale. Authorities have reported that five civilians were killed in the incident.
In response, Turkey began shelling targets in Syria on Thursday and the Turkish parliament authorised further shelling on Friday.
Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission strongly condemned the incursion into Turkish territory and expressed solidarity and condolences “to the families of the victims and to the Turkish people”. She was also in contact with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to discuss the matter.
On Thursday, at a meeting of the UN Security Council, Ban Ki Moon’s spokesperson said in a statement:
“As the situation inside Syria deteriorates yet further – including the atrocious terrorist bombings in Aleppo this week which killed dozens of people including civilians – the risks of regional conflict and the threat to international peace and security are also increasing,”
As a candidate for membership of the European Union, Turkey occupies a unique balancing position between the cultures of Europe and the Middle East as well as an important access point for trade and international military.