World leaders back Turkey after attempted military coup

NewsBy Neil Fetherston
World leaders back Turkey after attempted military coup

World leaders have expressed support for Turkey and its democratic institutions after the government quashed an attempted military coup.

The Italian foreign minister, Paolo Gentiloni, said Turkish authorities must do their utmost to ensure “respect for the rule of law, of fundamental rights and of parliament’s role” following the failed coup.

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said she condemned the coup attempt, saying democratic institutions must be respected.

Merkel told reporters at the chancellery in Berlin on Saturday that it was “tragic that so many people paid for this coup attempt with their lives” and urged an end to the bloodshed.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry expressed concern about tensions in Turkey in the wake of the coup. “The aggravation of the political situation in the context of the terrorist threats existing in the country and armed conflict in the region carry a high risk to international and regional stability,” the ministry said in a statement. “We call on the government and people of Turkey to solve the existing problems without violence, to respect the constitutional order.”

The US secretary of state, John Kerry, said the US would entertain an extradition request for exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey’s president blames for the failed coup. But Kerry added that Turkey’s government would have to present evidence of Gulen’s wrongdoing that withstands scrutiny.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said it respected the democratic process in Turkey and looked forward to the continued reconciliation between the countries. Israel and Turkey recently struck a broad reconciliation pact to restore diplomatic relations after six years of animosity between the once-close Mideast powers following a deadly Israeli naval raid to stop an activist flotilla aiming to breach the Gaza blockade.

Hamas congratulated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for quashing a “vicious” plot to overthrow him. Hamas said it remembers Turkey’s “wise leadership in supporting the Palestinian people and their cause” and working to lift the blockade on Gaza, the coastal territory ruled by the group.

An aide to Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, condemned the attempted coup and said Pakistan “hopes that peace and normalcy will be restored in Turkey.”
Tariq Fatimi also said he had contacted Turkey’s foreign minister to express solidarity with Turkey’s government and democratic institutions.

The British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, said he had spoken to his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, to underline support for Turkey’s “democratic elected government and institutions” in the wake of the coup attempt. The Foreign Office is advising Britons in Turkey to stay indoors, avoid public places, especially demonstrations, and remain vigilant.

British Airways said it was canceling all flights to and from Turkey on Saturday, but budget airline easyJet said it planned to run its scheduled flights, largely to Turkish resort towns. The airline said the schedule “will be kept under continuous review.”

Spain’s acting foreign minister, Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo, condemned the attempted coup, telling Spanish national television that his government completely supported the Turkish government headed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He said “without a doubt we support respecting the constitution and democratically elected institutions, and we condemn all coups without reservation.”