Why Turkey is treading cautiously in exerting pressure on Syria
bbc / Jonathan Head

Turkey is now one of the harshest critics of President Bashar al-Assad's government in Syria.

This is in striking contrast to the warm personal relations established between Mr Assad and Turkey's leaders up until this year.

The Turkish prime minister has publicly called on Mr Assad to resign, warning that he was turning into a leader "who feeds on his people's blood".

Turkish actions, though, have been more cautious.

It has been two months since Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised to impose sanctions on Syria, but only now have they been announced.

They include a travel ban and the freezing of assets of those close to President Assad, severing relations with Syrian banks, and enforcing an arms embargo. In that, they mirror those imposed by the Arab League last week.

There are no broader trade sanctions - trade between the two countries rose to $2.4bn (£1.5bn, 1.78bn euro) last year - nor any measures that could harm ordinary people, like cutting electricity exports or restricting the flow of water from rivers originating in Turkey.

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