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Slovakia condemns coup attempt in Turkey

Slovakia reacted to the recent putsch attempt in Turkey.

FAM Miroslav Lajčák(Source: SITA)

This country supports democratic processes in Turkey and condemns the attempt at a violent overthrow of the local government, Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák said after the session of the Slovak National Security Council and Analytical Centre on July 16.

“Turkey represents our key strategic security partner,” he said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “A stable Turkey is of extraordinary importance to us, as it’s located at our (i.e. European-Union) border and any destabilisation might have far-reaching consequences for us.”

Both Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák and Defence Minister Peter Gajdoš concurred that despite the coup attempt in Turkey, there is no reason for panic at the moment. The situation has stabilised and evacuation of Slovak nationals from the country is not necessary. For the time being, however, the foreign ministry does not recommend Slovaks to travel to either Ankara or Istanbul.

“I convened the crisis response staff and inquired about the latest developments reported by the intelligence services,” Gajdoš said. “Based on what I’ve learned there is no need for panic. He added that the Defence Ministry is in contact with NATO and the EU.

Kalinak accentuated the importance of a stable Turkey in light of the migration crisis in Europe. “Any improvement regarding migration certainly requires Turkey’s involvement,” said interior minister, adding that the situation has stabilised, which represents good news for Slovak holidaymakers.

Experts and analysts react

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will strengthen his position in the wake of Friday’s failed coup attempt, thinks Slovak security analyst Milan Žitný. “Now he’s acquired a strong argument and proof that his accusations levelled at the opposition, journalists and others, of plotting a conspiracy against him haven't been the product of fabrication. Undoubtedly, he will attempt to take advantage of the situation and promote a strong presidential system in the country,” Žitný told TASR.

Former director of the Slovak Intelligence Service (1993-95) and Intelligence Officers Association chair Igor Cibula pointed out that in the spirit of a tradition set by the founding father of modern Turkey Kemal Ataturk, the Turkish military has always perceived itself as the defender of a secular state and the guarantor of integration with the West. “The recent developments that attempted to change the state of affairs in Turkey could be seen in this context,” said Cibula. “Certain circles in the Turkish military are concerned with the ideological conflict between the constitutionally-guaranteed secular character of the Turkish state and the policies of the incumbent Islamist government," Cibula said. “President Erdogan has also stoked rejection of government policies within the military by resuming the civil war in Turkish Kurdistan,” the intelligence expert opined. “This has angered not only the Kurds but also many Turkish politicians who view the solution to the Kurdish problem as a long-term peaceful dialogue. Turkey now finds itself in a state of war, even though a few years back there was no cause for the war against the Kurds to resume.”

The regime of President Erdogan will now face tough times, Cibula continued, adding that the quashed putsch will lead to an even greater destabilisation of the country, internal polarisation between a portion of Turkish society with leanings towards Orthodox Islam and its opposite number: reform-oriented sympathisers of (Turkish preacher, former imam and political figure) Fethullah Gulen who promotes dialogue with Jews and Christians and rejects terrorism.

The stability of Turkey is of extraordinary importance to Europe also because of the EU migration crisis. Therefore, any attempt at a violent overthrow of the Turkish government must be condemned, parliamentary vice-chair and coalition Most-Híd party chairman Béla Bugár reacted. It is important to find a way to defuse the situation in Turkey, he added.

Violent coup and the restriction of democracy are not proper tools for governing a country, representatives of the Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party said on July 16 in reference to the attempted state coup in Turkey. SaS voiced hope that the chaos in Turkey will be put to an end soon.

Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák will be taking part in the regular session of the Council of EU for Foreign Affairs (FAC) in Brussels on July 18. This is the first such session to take place during Slovakia’s presidency of the Council of EU. The session of ministers – who will also talk to US Secretary of State John Kerry – starts with a debate on the situation in Turkey. 

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