US supports democratically elected government in Turkey

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Washington, July 16: The US has thrown its weight behind the democratically-elected government in Turkey amidst reports of a military coup in the country which is a key NATO-ally of America.

US President Barack Obama spoke over phone with his Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss the unfolding events in Turkey. "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 on Friday.

Also read: Live updates on Turkey military coup attempt

US supports elected govt in Turkey

In a statement, Kerry said the US viewed with "gravest concern" events taking place in Turkey. "We are monitoring a very fluid situation," he said.

"I spoke this evening to Foreign Minister Cavusoglu and emphasised the United States' absolute support for Turkey's democratically-elected, civilian government and democratic institutions," Kerry said. He urged all parties to ensure the safety and well-being of diplomatic missions and personnel and civilians throughout Turkey.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stolenberg said he had also spoken to the Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. "I am following events in Turkey closely and with concern. I call for calm and restraint, and full respect for Turkey's democratic institutions and its constitution. Turkey is a valued NATO Ally," he said.

In a separate statement, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, chairman of House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats, said seizing power from a democratically elected leader is always to be deplored.

Also read: Indian embassy in Turkey asks Indians to remain indoors

"But we must remember that (Turkish President) Erdogan's own history is one of abusing power by reversing election results, cracking down on the country's once-free press, and scapegoating his most credible opponents with outlandish lies," Rohrabacher said.

"Moreover, as an Islamist himself, he has been moving perilously close to mandating Islamic values and jeopardising Turkey's history of religious freedom and tolerance," he said.

The Pentagon said it was monitoring the situation in Turkey. "We are monitoring the situation in Turkey closely and are taking appropriate steps to ensure the safety and security of our service members, civilians, their families, and our facilities," said a Department of Defense official.

"As of this time, there has been no impact to Incirlik Air Base and counter-ISIL air operations from Incirlik continue," the official said. Turkey's armed forces have said it "fully seized control" of the country to reinstall the constitutional order, democracy, human rights and freedoms in the country.

 

PTI

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