Qatar denounces failed coup attempt in Turkey
Updated at 10:35am with comment from Qatar residents in Turkey
Qatar’s foreign ministry has condemned an attempt by the Turkish military to overthrow the government, calling it “lawless” and a “violation of the (country’s) constitutional legitimacy.”
The denunciation came during a confusing night in which the military attempted to wrest power from the Turkish president. Both sides initially claimed victory.
But major political parties apparently rejected the coup, and Reuters reports that the military gave up after crowds responded to President Tayyip Erdogan’s call to flood the streets to support him.
Internationally, many world leaders including from the US and Germany have weighed in saying that because Turkey is democracy, the military must respect the will of the people.
Qatar is a close ally of Erdogan’s Turkey, and the foreign ministry said in a statement:
“(MOFA) called for the need to preserve the constitutional legitimacy, respect for the will of the Turkish people, reject violence, and not to take any step that would undermine security and stability in the fraternal Republic of Turkey.”
Airports briefly closed
Because the coup happened during a busy tourist season for Turkey, some Qatar residents in that country have been using social media to update loved ones about their safety.
One Qatari young man in Turkey told Doha News that he was at the supermarket when news of the coup attempt broke.
Abdulla Alhor, an 18-year-old Northwestern University in Qatar student, said, “People started (going) inside the shop just to see the TV and ask the salesman about what’s happened.”
He said after returning to his hotel, he got a text message around 2am from the foreign affairs ministry with a list of phone numbers to call if he needed help.
“We tried to sleep, but at around 3:40am, we heard very loud noises that woke us up. By the time, news were spreading about the failure of the takeover attempt,” he added.
Meanwhile, the country’s airports were closed temporarily, but ordered to reopen last night, according to Turkey’s state news agency.
However, a travel alert posted on Qatar Airways’ website said this morning that all airports in Turkey remain closed, and requested that travelers call +974 4023 0000 for more information.
Turkey now begins to return to order, though the state news agency said at least 90 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured across the country during the coup attempt.
And so far, some 754 members of the armed forces have been detained.
In a news address, Erdogan called the failed takeover “an act of treason” and pledged that those responsible would “pay a heavy price.”