Official visit of the Prime Minister of Georgia to the Republic of Turkey has begun. The Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication Ahmet Arslan met the Georgian delegation at the Ankara International Airport.
According to Ahmet Arslan, in view of the regional stability Turkish Government greatly values visit of the Prime Minister of Georgia.
Prime Minister of Georgia wished peace and stability to the Turkish nation and people and once again expressed his condolences for the victims of military coup attempt in Turkey.
Within the frames of one day visit, Giorgi Kvirikashvili will conduct meetings with the Prime Minister of Turkey Binali Yıldırım. Meeting with the Speaker of Parliament of the Republic of Turkey Ismail Kahraman is also planned.
The first session of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council between Turkey and Georgia will be held. After the session cooperation agreements between the governments of Turkey and Georgia will be signed.
Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili and his Turkish counterpart Binali Yıldırım will make joint statements for the press.
The first Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Dimitri Kumsishvili, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikheil Janelidze, Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs David Sergeenko, Minister of Agriculture Otar Danelia, Ministry of Corrections and Probation Kakha Kakhishvili, Minister of Culture and Monument Protection Mikheil Giorgadze. Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Gigla Agulashvili, MP and head of the Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee Tedo Japharidze are the members of Georgian delegation.
“I condemn the attempted coup in Turkey and deplore the loss of life in the events of the weekend. It is now very important to identify facts and bring to justice those responsible,” said Pedro Agramunt, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), in a statement today.
“At the same time, to protect democratic institutions, it is equally important that the relevant legal procedures are carried out in accordance with the rule of law and human rights standards that Turkey has subscribed to as a member of the Council of Europe, in particular the European Convention on Human Rights and the case-law of the Strasbourg Court. In this context, the swift dismissal and arrest of thousands of judges, prosecutors, police officers and senior civil servants raises questions,” said the President.
“I am also worried about the announced discussion on the re-establishment of the death penalty. This would go against the country’s international commitments – as a member state of the Council of Europe, Turkey has signed and ratified Protocol No. 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and its Protocol No. 13 banning the death penalty in all circumstances,” said Mr Agramunt.
“The Council of Europe stands ready to support the Turkish authorities, on the basis of the principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law,” he concluded.
Prime Minister of Georgia had a telephone conversation with the Prime Minister of the republic of Turkey
Today, the Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, had a telephone conversation with the Prime Minister of the republic of Turkey, Binali Yıldırım. Giorgi Kvirikashvili expressed condolences to the Turkish people for the death of people, who sacrificed their lives to defend the democracy in Turkey. He wished to Turkey and Turkish people peace and stability. The Prime Minister of Georgia stressed that strong and democratic Turkey is key to the regional development and stability and once again expressed support to the democratically elected government.
The Prime Minister of Turkey, expressed appreciation to the support conveyed by the Government of Georgia and Georgian people, to the stability and democracy in Turkey. Stressed that the situation is normalized and all areas of cooperation will continue. The Prime Ministers confirmed readiness to hold the first session of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council Between the Republic of Turkey and Georgia as planned on 19 of July in Ankara. Both sides underlined the importance of this visit, and expressed readiness to discuss all areas of strategic partnership between the two countries.
PACE President calls for respect of democratic institutions and Council of Europe standards in TurkeySaturday, 16 July 2016 13:50
"Turkey is our member state and we support Turkey's democratic institutions and authorities. Attempts to change a democratically elected government by force are unacceptable and I condemn last night’s violence that has made at least 90 victims" stressed PACE President.
"It is now important to restore order, keep calm and uphold democratic principles and institutions. The Assembly and all Council of Europe bodies are at the disposal of Turkey to provide support" concluded PACE President.
Michael Rubin, a Turkey researcher, analyses the reasons for the attempted coup in an article for Foreign Policy.
"Was a coup inevitable? No. But those plotting it presumably believed they were saving Turkey from an increasingly out-of-touch and ideological leadership. Erdogan promised to rule on behalf of all Turks, but increasingly he does not.
"He promised to repair the economy, but corruption is rife, the currency shaky, and a recession could be on the horizon. He promised peace, but his combative policies isolated Turkey in the Middle East and estranged it from the West.
"He promised security, but Turks fear recent bombings are just the tip of the iceberg. At the same time, the coup plotters may believe that Erdoğan’s continual consolidation of power made this their last chance."
Fethullah Gulen, the exiled Muslim cleric whom President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused of plotting against him, has condemned the coup attempt and denied any role in it.
"I condemn, in the strongest terms, the attempted military coup in Turkey," he said in an emailed statement reported by The New York Times. "Government should be won through a process of free and fair elections, not force."
“I pray to God for Turkey, for Turkish citizens and for all those currently in Turkey that this situation is resolved peacefully and quickly,” he added. “As someone who suffered under multiple military coups during the past five decades, it is especially insulting to be accused of having any link to such an attempt. I categorically deny such accusations.”
The number of dead as a result of the coup attempt has risen to 90, the state-run Anadolu Agency reports, with 1,154 wounded. It had earlier been reported that 60 people had died during overnight clashes, including many civilians. Since then Turkey's police chief has said at least 16 "coup plotters" have been killed in clashes at the country's military police command.
The Anadolu Agency also reports that some 200 unarmed soldiers at the Turkish military headquarters have "surrendered" to police.
Statement by Council of Europe Secretary General Jagland on the situation in Turkey:
"Any attempt to overthrow the democratically elected leaders in Turkey is unacceptable in a member state of the Council of Europe, which defends democracy, human rights and the rule of law."
The coup attempt is deeply damaging for President Erdogan who will struggle now to reassert his authority, Michael Stephens, Research Fellow for Middle East Studies at the Royal United Services Institute tells the BBC.
At one point during the attempt, Mr Erdogan's whereabouts were unknown, Mr Richards says, adding to the impression that he was not fully in control of his country.
From the West point's of view Turkey is a vital Nato partner and plays a key role in the struggle against so-called Islamic State militants - so any instability there is bound to give cause for serious concern.
The coup reflects deep frustration in Turkey over Mr Erdogan's apparent disdain for the constitution and his efforts to create an executive presidency, Mr Richards says.
CNN-Turk are now reporting that the army's top general and military chief of staff, Hulusi Akar, has been rescued by security forces at an air base northwest of Ankara, the capital.
It had earlier been reported that he had been taken hostage during the coup attempt.
Turkey's police chief says 16 "coup plotters" have been killed in clashes at the "paramilitary headquarters" and a further 250 detained, the state-run Anadolu Agency reports.