TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani in a message to his Turkish counterpart Ismail Kahraman congratulated him and the nation on their victory over those who sought to topple the government through a coup in the last 24 hours.
“With great pleasure, I am willing to felicitate you, the respectful MPs and the Turkish government and nation on the victory of people’s will, national sovereignty and democracy over the desperate and doomed-to-failure move made against your country’s elected bodies,” Larijani said in his message on Saturday.
“As a system which relies on people’s votes and will and its pillars and principles that have been derived from Islam, the Islamic Republic of Iran has always supported national sovereignty, the nations’ will and the systems selected through elections,” he added.
Larijani underlined that the Iranian parliament condemns the military attack on the publically elected bodies in Turkey, specially the legislature, and supports the people of the friendly and brotherly country of Turkey.
An attempted Turkish military coup appeared to crumble on Saturday after crowds answered President Tayyip Erdogan’s call to take to the streets to support him and dozens of rebel soldiers abandoned their tanks in the main city of Istanbul.
Turkey’s EU Minister Omer Celik announced that his country is almost through with the last night coup, although a number of commanders are still held hostage.
His remarks came after Prime Minister Binali Yildirim officially declared the failure of the coup attempt, but meantime reiterated earlier allegations that government holds Fetullah Gulen and his followers responsible for the coup. Yildirim said the government is now in control of the country, adding that the arrests will continue and the detainees might be given capital punishment if certain changes are made to the constitution. Turkey’s constitution bans execution.
In Tehran, the Supreme National Security Council headed by President Hassan Rouhani convened for a second time in an urgent meeting on Saturday morning. In its earlier meeting it had ordered the armed forces to seal off the border with Turkey.
Reports said on Saturday that 11,000 Iranian tourists are in Turkey now. Iran’s aviation organization has also halted all flights to various destinations in Turkey for an unspecified period. Yet, officials in Tehran said they will send several passenger planes tonight to bring the tourists back home.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif twitted his “deep concerns” over the status quo in neighboring Turkey. In a phone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Saturday morning, Zarif discussed the latest developments in Turkey after the failed coup d’etat.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi reiterated the country’s severe concerns over Turkey’s security and stability after the coup, and said Tehran supports the elected Turkish government.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran pursues the developments in its neighboring country highly precisely and sensitively,” Qassemi said on Saturday.
Referring to Zarif’s three phone calls with his Turkish counterpart since the start of the crisis from last midnight to Saturday noon, he said, “We are deeply concerned about stability, security, unity, democracy and the rule of the law in Turkey.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran supports the publically-elected government and advises (all sides) not to resort to violence,” Qassemi said.
Stressing that Iran prioritizes stability, security and democracy in Turkey, he expressed the hope that full stability and tranquility would return to the country as soon as possible.
Also Iranian Intelligence Minister Seyed Mahmoud Alavi underlined that his country is closely monitoring the political and military developments in neighboring Turkey.
“Iranian police, security and intelligence forces are on alert, and Iran’s common borders with Turkey are fully controlled,” Alavi said.
Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Shamkhani said that Tehran supports President Erdogan’s government because it has been elected by the people, adding that Iran’s support for the Syrian government derives from the same fact.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s position on such phenomena and events has always been respect for people’s choice compared with forceful control, meaning that rejecting coups and supporting the governments elected based on people’s real vote is always our principled and fixed policy on the governmental structures,” Shamkhani said on Saturday.
Turkey is no exception in this regard, he said, and stressed that Iran prefers a government elected through people’s vote to a failed, flawed and unpopular government that has ascended to power through a coup.
“This, of course, is not just limited to Turkey and it is the reason for our presence in Syria too,” Shamkhani underscored.
Asked about the situation at the shared Iranian borders with Turkey, he said the country’s Northwestern bordering areas, neighboring Turkey, enjoy sufficient levels of security and the Ground and Air forces are ready to defend the country, if necessary.
Turkish government officials said the army factions that have staged the coup are receiving orders from Islamist opposition leader Fetullah Gulen who is in exile in the US. Hundreds of Gulen’s followers in the army, police and judiciary were arrested and jailed last year. Prosecutors in Turkey’s capital announced on Wednesday that “Ankara has prepared a file for extraditing the US-based preacher Gulen, who is accused of leading a terrorist organization, as well as trying to infiltrate and overthrow the elected government”.
Fetullah Gulen and his supporters issued a statement last night to “condemn the coup” in an apparent attempt to distance themselves from government accusations.
The opposition, including the Kurdish minority, have also condemned the coup attempt.
Turkey is a NATO member, which has been convulsed by military takeovers at least three times over the past half-century. The coup has taken the lives of 265 people, including 41 policemen, 49 civilians and 104 coup supporters, and injured 1,440 others. Also 2,900 pro-coup forces have been arrested so far.
By Fars News Agency