NATO says stands in solidarity with Turkey
Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 9
NATO continues to stand in solidarity with Turkey, with increased naval and air presence and with defensive missile systems on the border with Syria, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Turkey.
Stoltenberg arrived in Ankara for a two-day visit Sept. 8 in a sign of the Alliance’s enduring support for the Turkish people and their democracy, said the message posted on NATO’s website.
On Sept. 8 evening, the secretary general met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss Turkey’s contributions to the Alliance’s shared security, including in Afghanistan, in the fight against the “Islamic State” (IS, aka ISIS, ISIL or Daesh) terrorist group, and in NATO’s efforts to stop human trafficking in the Aegean Sea.
The secretary general also reiterated NATO’s condemnation of the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey, expressing condolences for those who lost their lives, and respect for the courage of the Turkish people.
“Any attack on democracy, in any of our countries, is an attack on the very foundation of our Alliance. A strong and democratic Turkey is essential for the stability and security of Europe and the region,” he said.
On July 15 evening, Turkish authorities said a military coup attempt took place in the country. Meanwhile, a group of servicemen announced about transition of power to them. However, the rebelling servicemen started to surrender July 16 and Turkish authorities said the coup attempt failed.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had said the death toll as a result of the military coup attempt stood at 246, excluding the coup plotters, and more than 2,000 people were wounded. Erdogan declared a three-month state of emergency in Turkey on July 20.
During his trip to Ankara, Stoltenberg will also meet with Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Defense Minister Fikri Isik and other senior officials.