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Turkey Mideast allies rally behind strongman Erdogan

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Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Doha: Turkey’s regional allies today condemned a deadly but foiled coup attempt by a faction of the army against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s rule. Key regional powers Iran and Israel, which have both had strained relationships with Erdogan’s government, condemned the putsch that began late last night.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif spoke with his Turkish counterpart three times since the crisis began. On Twitter, he hailed the Turkish people’s “defence of democracy & their elected government” which he said “proves that coups have no place in our region and are doomed to fail.”

“Deeply concerned about the crisis in Turkey,” Zarif tweeted late yesterday. “Stability, democracy & safety of Turkish people are paramount. Unity & prudence are imperative.”


Israel, which last month approved a deal to restore ties frozen after a deadly Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound Turkish ship in 2010, also condemned the coup attempt.

“Israel respects the democratic process in Turkey and looks forward to the continuation of the reconciliation process between Turkey and Israel,” said foreign ministry
spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon. With the exception of Qatar, Iran’s Arab foes in the Gulf made no comment on the events in Turkey besides advising their
citizens to stay off the streets.

In a telephone call with the Turkish leader, Qatari emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani “congratulated (Erdogan) on the support of the people of Turkey on his rule against the failed military coup,” the official QNA news agency reported.

Sheikh Tamim “strongly condemned this failed attempt and voiced… (Qatar’s) solidarity with Turkey… in all measures it takes to protect constitutional legitimacy, enforce the rule of law and preserve its security and stability.”

Gas-rich Qatar is Erdogan’s closest Gulf ally, sharing his sympathies for the Muslim Brotherhood that formerly ruled Egypt and which is outlawed in other Gulf Arab states.

Gaza’s Islamist Hamas rulers, who have friendly ties with Qatar as well as Turkey’s ruling Islamic-rooted AKP party “condemned the failed coup attempt” and “congratulated the people and the Turkish leadership for successfully protecting democracy.”

Turkey has recently obtained several compromises from Israel over Gaza including authorisation for Ankara to build a hospital. Today, activists — notably those linked to Hamas — called for demonstrations in solidarity with the Turkish government.

Erdogan called on his supporters today to remain vigilant, warning of the risks of a fresh flare-up of violence even as his forces regained control. In Khartoum, President Omar al-Bashir condemned “the attempted coup in Turkey and the disturbance of security and stability in the country.”