“We don't like to see Syria facing such difficult days, but unfortunately it is. After all, I see that whatever is being done is too late and insufficient. I really feel very sorry for saying all this,” said Gül.
Gül's statements came amid a suicide bombing which struck the National Security headquarters in the Syrian capital on Wednesday, killing the defense minister and President Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law -- the harshest blow to the Syrian regime since the uprising began.
Defense Minister Dawoud Rajha, 65, a former army general, was the most senior government official to be killed in the Syrian civil war as rebels battle to oust Assad. Gen. Assef Shawkat, the deputy defense minister and one of the most feared figures in Assad's inner circle, was also killed.
Although it was unclear who was behind the attack, the high-level assassinations could signal a turning point in the 16-month conflict as the violence becomes increasingly chaotic.
The Syrian army released a statement saying its forces will continue to fight.
"Whoever thinks that by targeting the country's leaders they will be able to twist Syria's arm is disillusioned because Syria's people, army and leadership are now more determined than ever to fight terrorism … and cleanse the nation from the armed gangs," said the statement.
Speaking at a joint press conference with his Gabonese counterpart, Ali Bongo Ondimba, Gül stated that there was an administration in Syria which had completely lost its legitimacy.
“After bombing its own people and after this much death, the only thing that should be rapidly carried out is the establishment of a new administration with the will of the Syrian people,” said Gül.
Recalling that UN-Arab League special envoy to Syria Kofi Annan announced a plan after his first visit to Syria, Gül said that fierce clashes had continued, cities had been bombed and more civilians had been killed after the so-called cease-fire had been declared under the plan.
Gül also said that migration of Syrian citizens was speeding up, adding that almost 40,000 Syrians had crossed into Turkey. He also said that the migration situation was the same in Jordan and other countries.
Meanwhile, Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek, who is currently visiting Pakistan, said on Wednesday that it was impossible for the current Syrian regime to stay in power.
Touching upon the suicide bombing, Çiçek said it was upsetting to see so much blood and cruelty in Syria. “Turkey has tried hard to avoid the situation in Syria getting to this point. After all this, it is not possible for the current regime to stay in power in Syria. The Syrian people are suffering under the regime. They deserve to live in peace,” said Çiçek, adding that the international community had failed to find a solution for the Syrian crisis so far.
Turkish companies to construct new residential units in Gabon
Gül, who welcomed Ondimba with a formal ceremony at the Çankaya presidential palace, said Turkish businessmen and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were very interested in Gabon and that they had made many large infrastructure investments in the country, adding that Turkish companies would construct new residential units in Gabon.
“Turkey's economic cooperation with African countries is not based on a unilateral gain. We develop our relations on the principle of win-win,” said Gül.
Gül also stated that Gabon was one of Africa's most stable countries, adding that Gabon was contributing to Turkey's initiative policy in Africa.
Ondimba mentioned that he was pleased with Turkey's stance on Africa. “Turkey is a model for Gabon and other countries in the development sector, and we are glad to sign strategic partnership agreements with developed and powerful countries,” said Ondimba, adding that Turkey was now one of Africa's biggest strategic partners.
Prior to the press conference, Turkey and Gabon signed an agreement on mutual encouragement and protection of investments and a memorandum of understanding for cooperation between the Diplomacy Academy of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Gabonese Foreign Ministry.
The two presidents also held a meeting, which was also attended by Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar and Education Minister Ömer Dinçer.
On Thursday, the Confederation of Turkish Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON) will host Ondimba at a meeting in İstanbul which will bring together Turkish and Gabonese businessmen. Ondimba is set to hold talks with several officials in the coming days in İstanbul.