Iran’s Zarif: No place for coups in region

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Following an attempted military coup in Turkey, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hailed the Turkish nation’s defense of democracy, saying the coups in the region are doomed to fail.

Hours after a coup was launched by a faction in the Turkish armed forces on Friday night, the top Iranian diplomat voiced concern about the situation in neighboring Turkey.

“Deeply concerned about the crisis in Turkey. Stability, democracy & safety of Turkish people are paramount. Unity & prudence are imperative,” Zarif wrote on his Twitter page.

And after reports that the coup has been crushed by the government, Zarif tweeted, “Turkish people’s brave defense of democracy & their elected government proves that coups have no place in our region and are doomed to fail.”

The coup appeared to crumble in the early hours of Saturday after crowds answered President Tayyip Erdogan’s call to take to the streets to support him.

Erdogan, who had been holidaying on the southwest coast when the coup was launched by a faction in the armed forces, flew into Istanbul before dawn on Saturday and was shown on TV appearing among a crowd of supporters outside Ataturk Airport.

The uprising was an “act of treason”, and those responsible would pay a heavy price, he later told reporters at a hastily arranged news conference. Arrests of officers were under way, and it would go higher up the ranks, culminating in the cleansing of the military, he said.

Rebel soldiers who had taken control of military aircraft were still firing from the air early on Saturday and fighter jets had been scrambled to intercept them, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said, underscoring the chaotic situation.

Gunfire and explosions rocked both the main city Istanbul and capital Ankara in a chaotic night after soldiers took up positions in both cities and ordered state television to read out a statement declaring they had taken power.

42 people, including police officers, have reportedly been killed in Ankara. It is unclear who is really in control of Istanbul and Ankara at this point in time.

Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport has reopened and news channels have begun broadcasting again, after being temporarily shut down by soldiers earlier in the night.

By Tasnim News Agency