Iran’s Velayati decries attempted coup in Turkey

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Ali Akbar Velayati, an international adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution, denounced a coup attempt by a group of military forces in Turkey, saying Iran backs the democratically elected government of Turkey though Tehran and Ankara are at odds over Syria.

As an establishment founded upon religious democracy, the Islamic Republic of Iran is opposed to any “illegal and forcible move” aimed at overthrowing democratic governments, Velayati told Tasnim on Saturday, commenting on the failed coup that has created a chaotic situation in Turkey since late Friday.

Praising the institutionalized democracy and holding of elections in Turkey, Velayati underscored that Iran, naturally, rejects any coup, including one by a limited number of army forces who seek to trample on the votes of people and overthrow the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

What brings Tehran and Ankara closer together is the Turkish government’s pursuit of Islamic values, despite some conflicting views on Syria, he added.

In spite of the political differences, Iran and Turkey have a strong bond given their historical and religious commonalities, proximity and common interests, Velayati noted.

The former Iranian foreign minister expressed the hope that Turkey would also come to respect the votes of the Syrian people, emphasizing that Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad would have not been able to resist an international war for more than five years had he lacked the support of his people.

Earlier on Saturday, the Turkish government came under siege by a faction of military forces who sought to end the rule of 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