ANKARA, Turkey (NEWS 1130) – Turkey’s four main political parties have released a joint declaration during an extraordinary parliamentary meeting held in the wake of the country’s failed coup attempt.
The four parties on Saturday strongly condemned the attempted coup and warned that any attempt against the people or the parliament will be met “with the iron will of the Turkish Grand National Assembly resisting them, just as they did today.”
The declaration praised the Turkish nation for its unwavering belief in democracy and lauded citizens for taking to the streets and resisting the coup.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says the commander of Turkey’s 1st Army, Gen. Umit Dundar, has been appointed acting chief of military staff.
Earlier President Erdogan said he had no information concerning Chief of Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar, who was reportedly taken hostage at the military headquarters by coup plotters.
As Yildirim addressed crowds who gathered outside parliament, some of those assembled began to shout, “We want the death penalty! We want the death penalty!” They were referring to plotters of the attempted coup.
Yildirim responded: “We got your message. The necessary will be done.”
Turkey scrapped the death penalty more than a decade ago.
A Turkish senior official says that Akin Ozturk, a former air force commander, is one of the “masterminds of the coup.” He says initial evidence suggests ties between the failed coup’s masterminds, including Ozturk and the Gulenist Movement.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government rules.
The Anadolu Agency says arrest warrants were issued for 48 administrative court members and 140 members of Turkey’s appeals court. Earlier, Anadolu said a body overseeing judges and prosecutors in Turkey has dismissed 2,745 judges across Turkey.
The death toll has risen to more than 250 (161 civilians, 104 suspected coup-plotters), 1,400 are wounded. Nearly 3,000 people have been detained.
European Union supports Turkish government
European Council President Donald Tusk says the EU fully supports Turkey’s democratically elected government, in the wake of the attempted coup that left scores dead and wounded.
Speaking in Mongolia at the Asia-Europe summit meeting, Tusk says “Turkey is a key partner for the European Union. The EU fully supports the democratically elected government, the institutions of the country and the rule of law.”
Meantime German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she condemns the coup attempt in Turkey, saying democratic institutions must be respected.
Merkel told reporters at the chancellery in Berlin on Saturday that it was “tragic that so many people paid for this coup attempt with their lives” and urged an end to the bloodshed.
She said “Germany stands on the side of all of those in Turkey who defend democracy and the rule of law.”
Federal Liberals respond
The federal government says its ready to help any Canadians who need it in Turkey.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement expressing concern about the uprising.
He says the government of Canada is being kept informed of developments in Turkey, and is doing everything possible to ensure that the safety and security of Canadians is maintained.