Gul Warns Assad: Change or Be Changed
Turkish President Abdullah Gul has called on his Syrian counterpart to implement overdue reforms before it is too late, in a letter handed over to Bashar al-Assad by Turkey's foreign minister.
"I would not want you to look back some day and regret that you acted too little and too late," the Anatolia news agency quoted Gul as saying in his letter.
"To be a leader who promotes change will put you in a historic position rather than being swept away by the winds of change," he added.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu held talks with Assad for more than six hours on Tuesday, pleading that he end bloodshed and open the path to political reforms.
His visit to Damascus was to pass on Ankara's message that it "has run out of patience" with the ongoing violence, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.
Ankara, whose ties with Damascus have flourished in recent years, has repeatedly called on Assad to initiate reforms but has stopped short of calling for his departure.
The Syrian regime has sought to crush weeks of protests with brutal force, killing more than 1,600 civilians and arresting at least 12,000 of dissenters, rights activists say.
On Friday Syrian security forces again opened fire killing 10 people as thousands of anti-regime protesters poured onto streets of flashpoint cities after the Ramadan weekly prayers, activists said.