World leaders call for calm following failed Turkey coup

United States calls on all parties in Turkey to support President Tayyip Erdogan

 

The United States called on all parties in Turkey to support President Tayyip Erdogan’s government against a coup attempt as world leaders expressed concern about the upheaval in a Nato member country that bridges Europe and the Middle East.

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry spoke by phone and gave their support to President Tayyip Erdogan after Turkey’s military said it had seized power on Friday.

By early Saturday, Erdogan appeared to have regained control.

“The President and Secretary agreed that all parties in Turkey should support the democratically-elected government of Turkey, show restraint, and avoid any violence or bloodshed,” the White House said in a statement.

US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said she supported Turkey’s civilian government and was following the events in Turkey “with great concern.”

European Council President Donald Tusk called for a swift return to Turkey’s constitutional order, saying tensions there could not be resolved by guns.

‘Key partner’

“Turkey is a key partner for the European Union. The EU fully supports the democratically elected government, the institutions of the country and the rule of law,” Mr Tusk said at a regional summit in Mongolia.

Those sentiments were echoed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg who described Turkey as a valued Nato ally.

“The democratic order in Turkey must be respected. Everything needs to be done to protect human lives,” Dr Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Twitter.

Ties between Turkey and Germany - vital partners in efforts to curb mass migration to Europe - have been strained since Germany passed a resolution in June branding the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman forces as genocide. Ankara recalled its ambassador and threatened unspecified retaliation.

British foreign secretary

Boris Johnson said he remains “very concerned” about the situation in Turkey following an attempted military coup. Mr Johnson said officials were working hard to “do the best” for the many Britons in Turkey and urged them to follow the Foreign Office’s updated travel advice, which continues to “strongly” urge holidaymakers and others to stay indoors.

Iran, a Shia Muslim nation which has long been a regional rival to Sunni majority Turkey, said on Friday it was deeply concerned about the crisis in the neighboring country.

“Stability, democracy and safety of Turkish people are paramount. Unity and prudence are imperative,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on his Twitter account.

Gravely concerned

Meanwhile,

The Russian Foreign Ministry said turmoil in Turkey threatened regional stability and called on the Turkish authorities to resolve the situation without violence and within the country’s constitutional framework.

Relations between the Kremlin and Mr Erdogan remain strained over the Syria crisis and the Turkish shooting down of a Russian fighter jet in November despite an agreement last month to resume bilateral cooperation after a period of tension.

“In Moscow we are gravely concerned about events inside the Turkish republic,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“The escalation of the political situation (in Turkey) against the backdrop of existing terrorist threats in this country and of armed conflict in the region pose heightened risks for international and regional stability.”

Russian authorities have in the past accused Mr Erdogan of ignoring the smuggling of Islamic State oil from Syria to Turkey and of overseeing what they have called the problematic Islamisation of Turkish society.

Mr Erdogan has rejected the smuggling charges as slander.

Russian trade sanctions on Turkey, imposed over the shooting down of the fighter jet, remain in place despite the Kremlin saying last month that Erdogan had apologised to President Vladimir Putin over the incident.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the coup attempt showed something was badly wrong in Turkish society.

“What happened shows that in society and within the army of the Turkish Republic there are powerful deep contradictions which have bubbled to the surface,” Medvedev told reporters after a summit in Mongolia.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said it confirmed its readiness to work with Turkey’s legitimately-elected leadership, especially when it came to tackling terrorism.

Saudi Arabia welcomed Mr Erdogan’s success in prevailing against a coup attempt, state news agency SPA quoted a foreign ministry official as saying on Saturday.

“The source expressed the kingdom’s welcome that things are returned to normal led by his Excellency President Tayyip Erdogan and his elected government and in line with the constitutional legitimacy and the will of the Turkish people,” SPA said.

It was the first official comment by the world’s top oil exporter on the coup.