Doha, Istanbul/QNA, Reuters
Qatar yesterday condemned an attempted military coup in Turkey.
HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani telephoned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to express support for measures taken by the government to maintain stability in the country.
A group of Turkish troops claimed on Friday they had seized power in the country but by yesterday morning loyalist forces had crushed the bid after crowds took to the streets to support President Erdogan.
“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.
The statement stressed “Qatar’s solidarity with the fraternal Republic of Turkey in all the legal measures the legitimate Turkish government takes to maintain the security and stability of Turkey and its fraternal people”.
The statement also called for “the need to preserve the constitutional legitimacy, respect for the will of the Turkish people, reject violence, and not to take any step that would undermine security and stability in the fraternal Republic of Turkey”.
In his phone call to President Erdogan, HH the Emir congratulated him on the support of the brotherly Turkish people to their leadership against the failed military coup attempt.
The Emir expressed his “extreme condemnation and denouncement for this failed attempt and renewed the support of Qatar, its leadership and people and its solidarity with the brotherly Republic of Turkey in all actions taken to protect the constitutional legitimacy, law implementation, maintain security and stability and protect its people’s gains”.
Meanwhile, HE the Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani has telephoned Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Sheikh Mohamed, reiterated, during the call, Qatar’s solidarity with Turkey “in all the legal measures the legitimate government takes to maintain the security and stability of the country and its fraternal people in the wake of the military coup attempt”.
The Turkish foreign minister thanked Qatar for its supportive stance towards his country.
GCC secretary general Dr Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani said that GCC states welcomed the return of normality in Turkey under the leadership of President Erdogan’s elected government, within the framework of constitutional legitimacy and the will of the people.
Al-Zayani reiterated “the GCC states’ keenness on the security and stability of the Turkish Republic and prosperity of Turkish people, as well as bolstering historic ties with Turkey in various fields”.
The Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC), expressing its support for the elected government under Erdogan, reiterated its “rejection of any attempt to destabilise Turkey, the security and stability of which is the mainstay of security and stability in the region and the Muslim world”.
Turkish forces crushed the attempted coup after crowds answered President Erdogan’s call to take to the streets in support of the government and dozens of rebels abandoned their tanks.
One hundred and sixty-one people were killed, including many civilians, after a faction of the armed forces tried to seize power using tanks and attack helicopters. Some strafed the headquarters of Turkish intelligence and parliament in the capital, Ankara, and others seized a major bridge in Istanbul.
Erdogan accused the coup plotters of trying to kill him, and launched a purge of the armed forces, which last used force to stage a successful coup more than 30 years ago.
“They will pay a heavy price for this,” said Erdogan. “This uprising is a gift from God to us because this will be a reason to cleanse our army.”
A Turkish broadcaster reported that a purge of the judiciary was also under way.
At one stage military commanders were held hostage by the plotters and by yesterday evening - 24 hours after the coup bid was launched - some operations against rebels were continuing.
Foreign Minister Cavusoglu said soldiers at the Incirlik air base, used by the United States to launch air strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria, were involved in the attempt. He said Turkey would resume operations with the US-led coalition once the anti-coup operations were completed.
The government declared the situation under control, saying 2,839 people had been rounded up, from foot soldiers to senior officers, including those who formed “the backbone” of the rebellion.
Anadolu news agency said one of those detained was the commander of the Second Army which protects the country’s borders with Syria, Iraq and Iran.
US President Barack Obama expressed support for Turkey’s government and called on all sides to avoid action that would lead to further violence or instability.
Erdogan, who had been holidaying on the southwest coast when the coup was launched, flew into Istanbul before dawn yesterday and told thousands of flag-waving supporters at the airport that the government remained at the helm.
Erdogan said the plotters had tried to attack him in the resort town of Marmaris.
“They bombed places I had departed from right after I was gone,” he said. “They probably thought we were still there.”
Erdogan commands the admiration and loyalty of millions of Turks, particularly for raising living standards and restoring order to an economy once beset by regular crises, which grew 4.8% year-on-year in the first quarter.
In a night that sometimes verged on the bizarre, Erdogan frequently took to social media. He addressed the nation via a video calling service, appearing on the smartphone of a CNN Turk reporter who held it up to a studio camera.
He said the “parallel structure” was behind the coup attempt, his shorthand for followers of Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric whom he has repeatedly accused of trying to foment an uprising in the military, media and judiciary.
Gunfire and explosions had rocked both Istanbul and Ankara through the night after soldiers took up positions in both cities and ordered state television to read out a statement declaring they had taken power. However, by dawn the noise of fighting had died down considerably.
About 50 soldiers involved in the coup surrendered on one of the bridges across the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul after dawn yesterday, abandoning their tanks with their hands raised in the air. Reuters witnesses saw government supporters attack the pro-coup soldiers who had surrendered.
By yesterday afternoon, CNN Turk reported that security forces had completed an operation against coup plotters at the headquarters of the military general staff. Security sources also said police detained about 100 military officers at an air base in the southeast.
Neighbouring Greece arrested eight men aboard a Turkish military helicopter which landed in the northern city of Alexandroupolis yesterday, the Greek police ministry said, adding that they had requested political asylum.
Erdogan urges US to extradite Gulen
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking to a crowd in Istanbul yesterday, called on the United States to either arrest or extradite Fethullah Gulen, the Islamic cleric based in Pennsylvania. Turkey accuses Gulen of being behind the coup and called for him to return to Turkey to face trial.
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