"On behalf of the entire German government I condemn in the strongest possible terms the attempt of Turkish army units to use force to overthrow the elected government and the elected president of their country," declared Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin shortly after her return from the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit in Mongolia. "It is tragic that so many people have paid for this attempted coup with their lives." The bloodshed in Turkey must end now, continued Angela Merkel.
"At this difficult time, we are led by our commitment to parliamentary democracy and its institutions, to the rule of law and to liberty," said Angela Merkel. "We are led by our solidarity with all political forces in government and in the opposition which also feel bound by precisely these values." The rule of law can and should now prove its worth in the way Turkey deals with those responsible for the events of this night.
On Friday evening (15 July) parts of the Turkish army attempted to take control of the country. During the attempted military coup on Friday night, it is thought that several hundred people were killed. The Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Saturday morning that the elected government is still in power and that the situation is largely under control. In Berlin a task force within the Federal Foreign Office is monitoring developments in Turkey.
Coup is no alternative to democracy
Germany stands shoulder to shoulder with all those in Turkey who defend democracy and the rule of law. "It is and remains the prerogative of the people to choose its rulers in free elections," said Angela Merkel. Political changes must be advanced through the political institutions and in line with democratic rules, she added. "Tanks in the streets and airstrikes against your own population are wrong."
Since the first reports about the events in Turkey "I have been in constant contact with those responsible within the German government," said the Chancellor, especially with Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel and the Head of the Federal Chancellery, Pester Altmaier. The task force at the Federal Foreign Office is assessing events on an ongoing basis in conjunction with the diplomatic missions in Turkey.
"We urge all Germans currently in Turkey to follow carefully the information issued by the Federal Foreign Office regarding the situation in Turkey, and to behave with circumspection during this time of uncertainty," said Angela Merkel. The Federal Defence Ministry is in close contact with Bundeswehr troops stationed in İncirlik, to enable it to ensure their safety there at all times.