THE STAR August 7, 2012 A LIE THAT IS BECOMING A GODDAMNED LIE +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ "ANKARA: Turkey can play a "major role" in freeing 48 Iranian pilgrims abducted in Syria because of its links with the Syrian opposition, Iran's foreign minister said on Tuesday. Ali Akbar Salehi said he was in Turkey to follow the case of the pilgrims abducted over the weekend because "Turkey has links with the opposition in Syria, so we think Turkey can play major role in freeing our pilgrims." His remarks came during a snap visit to Ankara for a meeting with his counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu. The Iranians were taken hostage on Saturday as they travelled by bus to the airport in Damascus. It was the single biggest abduction of Iranians since the start of the Syrian uprising in March last year. Salehi over the weekend telephoned his Turkish and Qatari counterparts, Davutoglu and Hamad bin Jasim bin Jabir Al Thani, to request their help. Tehran accuses both Ankara and Doha of arming the Syrian rebels. In addition to taking in more than 45,000 Syrian refugees in several camps along its southern border provinces, Turkey is also providing sanctuary to members of the rebel forces fighting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. But Turkey has repeatedly denied allegations that it is arming the rebels. ***" Read more: THE DAILY STAR :: News :: Middle East :: Turkey can help free pilgrims kidnapped in Syria: Iran (The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: THE DAILY STAR :: Breaking News, Lebanon News, Middle East News & World News) ========================================================== Turkey is fast losing the respect it gained in recent years.