Turkey is making plans to counter the risk of deepening chaos in neighboring Syria as Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's crackdown on protests escalates, Sabah newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he will send a delegate to meet with Assad today, while plans for a possible civil war in the country will be discussed at a national security council meeting, the newspaper reported from Ankara.
Erdogan spoke with Assad by telephone yesterday and told him that while the lifting of the emergency rule was a positive step, it was insufficient to meet protesters' demands and quell the unrest, Sabah said. The conversation followed a call the previous day between Erdogan and U.S. President Barack Obama, it said.
Turkey considers it likely that Syrians may flee the country and has designated areas for refugee camps and hospitals in the cities of Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa and Mardin near the Syrian border, it said. Additional mine-sweeping equipment has been sent to police stations in the area, it said.