Russia’s call upon Turkey to settle coup without violence echoed by world leaders

People wave Turkish flags as they stand around the Republic Monument in Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, July 16, 2016 © Alkis Konstantinidis
As soon as news of the military coup attempt in Turkey reached the media, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called upon the Turkish authorities to avoid bloodshed and resolve the crisis in constitutional order – an appeal echoed by world leaders.

“It is important right now to avoid any bloodshed and resolve all issues constitutionally,” Lavrov said on Friday evening.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry later issued a statement calling upon the Turkish authorities and Turkish people “to settle the problems without use of force, and to respect the constitutional order” and without “the use of force.”

“Moscow is very concerned about the recent events in the Republic of Turkey. The aggravation of the political situation on the background of existing terrorist threats and an armed conflict in the region mean an increased risk to international and regional stability,” the ministry said.

“We reaffirm readiness to work… with the elected leadership of the Republic of Turkey to advance bilateral relations for the benefit of our peoples and to find effective solutions to pressing international issues, primarily related to countering the threat of terrorism,” the statement added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Russia’s authorities to ensure the safety of Russian citizens stranded at Turkish airports, the Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said, adding that Putin also ordered that they be provided with logistical support.

The coup attempt in Turkey began on Friday night when military helicopters buzzed over Ankara and Istanbul and pro-coup troops moved in to seal off the bridges over the Bosporus Strait.

Several government buildings, including the Turkish parliament, were also attacked, as lawmakers hid in shelters inside the building.
Several airports were shut down and access to social media was blocked in the first hours of the turmoil.

Turkey’s Prime Minister said that 2,839 soldiers and officers implicated in the overnight coup attempt have been arrested. At least 265 people have been killed, including 104 pro-coup military, while 1,440 people were injured in military action in Istanbul and Ankara.

World leaders condemn Turkish coup attempt

Leaders and governments across the world have condemned the coup attempt in Turkey.

The US called upon all parties to support the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan against the coup attempt.

“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.

EU officials also criticized the coup, calling for a “swift return to Turkey’s constitutional order.”

“A military coup has no place in Turkey. Disputes cannot be solved with guns. Events continue to unfold, and the situation is still far from stabilization,” European Council President Donald Tusk said. “The key question is what Turkey will come out of this crisis. Consequences will be crucial for the region and for the relations with the EU. Our hope is to keep Turkey as a key partner in all dimensions.”

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he had spoken to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and expressed his support for Erdogan’s government.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also hailed the Turkish people’s “defense of democracy and their elected government,” which “proves that coups have no place in our region and are doomed to fail.”

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said that Tel Aviv “respects the democratic process in Turkey and looks forward to the continuation of the reconciliation process between Turkey and Israel.”

Saudi Arabia “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,” the Saudi Press Agency said, quoting a Saudi official.

Qatar also condemned the military coup.

“The state of Qatar expressed its strong denunciation and condemnation of the military coup attempt, lawlessness, and violation of the constitutional legitimacy in the Republic of Turkey,” Qatar’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.