Comparing Assad To Hitler, Turkey's Prime Minister Calls On Him To Resign

Turkeyish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his address today in Ankara.

Turkeyish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his address today in Ankara. AP hide caption

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"Fighting your own people until the death is not heroism, it's cowardice," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said today in a message aimed at Syrian President Bashar Assad.

"If you want to see someone who has fought until death against his own people, just look at Nazi Germany, just look at Hitler, at Mussolini, at Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania," Erdogan continued in his harshest words yet about the Syrian leader. He said Assad should learn from what happened to former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, who died after being captured by forces that toppled his regime.

"For the welfare of your own people and the region," Erdogan advised, "just leave that seat."

NPR's Peter Kenyon, who is in Istanbul, says Erdogan's message was delivered during a gathering of his political party. As Peter says, the U.N. estimates more than 3,500 people have been killed in Syria during the 8-month-old uprising against Assad's regime.

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NPR's Peter Kenyon, in Istanbul



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