Baltic leaders criticise attempted Turkish military coup

  • 2016-07-16
  • BNS/TBT Staff/Riga/Tallinn/Vilnius

Leaders from all three Baltic countries have reacted to the failed overnight attempted military coup in Turkey.

Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite noted the strength of Turkish society against an adversary.

"The people of Turkey proved that democracy cannot be suppressed by military force. Airplanes and tanks are powerless against the people's will. People have elected, so there is nobody else but them who can determine the fate of their administration. Blood has been shed, therefore, we deliver our sincere condolences to the families of those killed," Grybauskaite stated in a press release published by the President's Office on Saturday morning.

She asked Lithuanian citizens who are currently in Turkey to remain alert. Lithuania's Foreign Ministry and the Lithuanian Embassy to Turkey are available to provide full information and aid.

Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas has also denounced the attempted military coup, the government's press office reported.

"Constitutional order and the work of government institutions must be restored as promptly as possible," Roivas stated. "Military force and violence can never be an instrument of political struggle."

The PM said that European Union leaders who are currently in Mongolia for the Asia-Europe summit were on edge as they watched developments in Turkey throughout the night. "We also jointly expressed the wish that constitutional order in Turkey be restored as swiftly as possible," he said.

According to Roivas, the Turkish people further demonstrated their strength via their parliament, which condemned the attempted coup — the country values democracy over military violence.

Estonian Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand echoed this sentiment. “The international community, the Turkish government, and Turkey's opposition parties have all condemned the attempted coup. There can be no place for violence against a legitimately elected government and democratic institutions in present-day political life,” she said. “The question of power is decided by the people in free elections."

Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics has also criticised the misuse of military power.

"We believe that an attempt of militaries to amend the constitutional order in a democratic country is not acceptable and should be condemnded," Rinkevics told the media.

The minister said that the Turkish government should investigate the incident and should normalise the situation as soon as possible. This needs to be done in accordance with the principles of democracy and human rights.

The military coup attempt in Turkey will definitely be included in the agenda of Monday's EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels, Rinkevics noted.

As reported, Turkish military group on Friday night announced a military takeover.

After a night of explosions, shooting, and tanks on the streets, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Turkey today that the attempted coup was over and the government was in charge.

According to latest information, about 104 coup plotters were killed after their attempt to topple the Turkish government, acting Turkish army chief General Umit Dundar said on Saturday.

He relayed that "the coup attempt has been foiled", but 90 people — 41 of them police and 47 civilians — died during the conflict.