Around 5,000 cars packed with supplies for Syrians fleeing Aleppo were driven to the Turkish border in solidarity protest
Thousands of people protested at the Turkish border on Saturday against a siege of Syria’s second city of Aleppo that has prevented deliveries of much-needed aid.
The crowds arrived in bus and car convoys from across the country under the slogan “Open the Way for Aleppo” close to Turkey’s Cilvegozu border gate, which has become a key hub for transporting the wounded from Aleppo.
Translate: Demonstrations in Turkey in support of Aleppo
They unfurled banners reading “Aleppo cannot be left under bombardment”.
The action was organised by the Turkish charity Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), which is playing a large role in the transport of aid for Aleppo and pressing for greater access.
IHH said 5,000 cars packed with humanitarian aid had been driven to the protest.
Evacuation from the rebel-held areas of Aleppo has been suspended after renewed clashes, putting on hold a fragile ceasefire deal brokered by Russia and Turkey.
The UN Security Council could vote this weekend on a French-drafted proposal to allow international observers in Aleppo and ensure urgent aid deliveries.
Ankara has stepped up diplomacy with all major actors including Iran, with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaking 13 times on the phone with Iranian counterpart Friday alone.
“Murderer Russia, get out of Syria” chanted the crowds gathering around three kilometres from the Turkish border crossing Cilvegozu that faces Syria’s Bab al-Hawa.
“Iran will have to defend its actions in front of the Ummah [global Islamic community].”
The convoys also brought aid to be delivered to Syrians being evacuated from Aleppo.
“God willing, we will not leave our brothers to the hands of the tyrants,” Kubra, a young female protester, told AFP.
In Ankara, protesters also gathered outside the Iranian embassy on Saturday morning and chanted slogans against Iran’s involvement in the Syrian conflict.
Translation: Turks protest in front of the Iranian embassy in Ankara. They are shouting: Khamenei murders Muslims. God’s curse is on him.