Amid ongoing pro-democracy protests in Syria, at least six people were killed by security forces on Friday, according to human rights activists.
The Muslim Day of Prayer is a rallying point for demonstrators as it offers the only opportunity for large gatherings.
But the death toll this time was less than on previous occasions. President Assad has reportedly ordered security forces not to fire on protesters. His information minister promised a national dialogue in the days ahead.
Up to 850 people have been killed during two months of unrest. So far, the President’s carrot and stick approach has failed to quell the dissent.
In Istanbul, the largest city of neighbouring Turkey, around 200 people marched to denounce the bloodshed and demand Bashar al-Assad’s departure.
“The regime killed more than 1,000 people in Syria and they blockade a lot of cities. Almost all the cities in Syria are blockaded,” one demonstrator said.
The Turkish government’s efforts to persuade President Assad to swap repression for reform have so far come to naught.