Bahram Qassemi

Iran backs democratically elected government in Turkey: Spokesman

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman voiced Tehran’s support for the democratically elected government of Turkey after an abortive military coup created chaos in the neighboring country.

The Islamic Republic of Iran recommends avoiding violence in Turkey, Bahram Qassemi said on Saturday, stressing that Tehran supports Ankara’s democratically-elected government.

The spokesman added that Iran is closely monitoring the situation in Turkey, saying, “We are deeply concerned about stability, security, unity, democracy and rule of law in Turkey.”

He further stressed that a “stable, safe and democratic Turkey” is of high priority for Iran, expressing the hope that calm would soon return to the neighboring nation.

Earlier on Saturday, the Turkish government came under siege by a faction of military forces who sought to end the rule of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan citing the leader’s drift away from the country’s long-held secularist values.

The military attempted to use helicopters and tanks to overthrow the Turkish leadership.

According to the state-run Anadolu agency, at least 90 people were killed amid the military coup attempt in Turkey. The victims include civilians and military servicemen.

The coup attempt was led by Col. Muharrem Kose, a former Turkish military officer who was dishonorably discharged in March 2016 for his alleged association with anti-government and US-based dissident Fethullah Gulen.

Gulen’s movement known as Hizmet, once claimed as many as 2,000 officers within the Turkish military prior to crackdowns by Turkish President Erdogan.

Supporters of Gulen have long attempted to use the judiciary to advance corruption investigations against Erdogan sparking a bitter divide between the two groups. Turkish authorities accuse Gulen of attempting to form an opposing “state within a state” known by many in Turkey as the “Parallel Structure.”

By Tasnim News Agency