Norway supports democracy in Turkey

'A coup d'état was attempted last night in Turkey, and the situation is extremely tense. Norway supports the democratically elected government and urges a rapid return to the democratic rule of order,' says Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

The situation in the capital Ankara and in Istanbul is still unresolved. High numbers of casualties have been reported, with many civilians both dead and injured. The Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed support for the democratically elected leaders of  Turkey, and called for all parties to remain calm, to exercise restraint and to cease violent behaviour.

'It is gratifying that Turkey has preserved democracy. The Government looks forward to continued cooperation with Turkey to fortify democracy and to deal with the significant security challenges that characterise the surrounding areas. Resolving this challenge will be yet another test of just how strong democracy is in Turkey,' said the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

'Preventing further polarisation of the Turkish society will be important in the time ahead. I hope President Erdogan will take advantage of the opportunity to build bridges with all those who rejected the attempted coup: the opposition, independent media and civilian society. It is important to send a clear signal that respect for human rights, freedom of the press and freedom of speech will be essential premises for the Turkish government in the future. These are values that have come under pressure in recent years,' said Brende.

Many Norwegians are currently vacationing in Turkey. Airports and roads have been closed through the night, and many have been left stranded at the airports in Ankara and Istanbul. The foreign service has mobilised its crisis team and is working diligently to clarify the situation and to provide assistance to Norwegian citizens in acute need. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against any and all travel to the country that is not strictly necessary, and will be monitoring the situation continuously. For more information about the situation in Turkey, see here.