Turkey's prime minister says his foreign minister will travel to Damascus to deliver a strong message against Syria's brutal crackdown on protests.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said late Saturday that Turkey's patience with its neighbor was running thin and his country could not remain a bystander to the violence.

Erdogan was reported by state-run Anatolia agency as saying that the minister would travel to Damascus on Tuesday "to deliver our message in a more determined way."

He added "a new process will take shape according to their response and actions." He did not elaborate.

Turkey until recently had close ties to Damascus, but has become increasingly critical of Syria's violent crackdown on the five-month old uprising.