Ali Yeral, president of the Alawite association Ehli Beyt poses on Dec. 7, 2011 in Hatay. In Antakya, a Turkish village overlooking the Syrian border, Ankara's position on the Syrian crisis doesn't get unanimous support. Turkey urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Dec. 7 to punish the "murderers" of anti-regime protesters and accept observers proposed by the Arab League. AFP
Ali Yeral, president of the Alawite association Ehli Beyt poses on Dec. 7, 2011 in Hatay.
"We know full well that there is no oppression in Syria," says Ali Yeral, president of the Ehli Beyt Alawite association in Antakya -- summarising the predominant attitude.
"Millions of people are on the street to support (Assad's) reforms," added Ali Yeral
"But certain television stations, in particular Al-Jazeera, do everything to ignore it and instead show 200 to 300 members of a bloody terrorist organisation demonstrating," said Yeral
Lurking behind such denialism may be the threat of reprisals against the Alawites
, in Syria and elsewhere, should Assad's regime fall.
"If Assad is overthrown, it is clear that there will be a massacre of Alawites
," said Yeral