On the Situation in Turkey | Statement to the PC

United States nameplate in the Hofburg Congress Center's Neuer Saal, the location of many OSCE Permanent Council Meetings, Vienna, March 9, 2016. (USOSCE/Colin Peters)

I’d like to thank the Turkish delegation for briefing the Permanent Council today.

The United States is deeply disturbed by the recent developments in Turkey, and we continue to follow developments closely. We strongly support Turkey’s democratically elected civilian government and its democratic institutions, and we condemn the attempt to overthrow the Turkish government. We’ve witnessed a demonstration of the Turkish people’s support for their democracy.

Coups have no place in a modern democratic society. We applaud the millions of people who have stood up against this violent intervention and declared support for democratic institutions.

Moving forward, the United States has offered to assist where possible in the investigation of the attempted coup. In this context, we underscore that it is critically important for all parties to exercise restraint, act within the rule of law, and avoid actions that could lead to additional instability or violence. The observance of due process and protection of freedoms enshrined in Turkey’s constitution are particularly important priorities. All those in positions of responsibility must uphold democracy and the rule of law and ensure that further bloodshed is prevented. It is encouraging that the parties represented in the Turkish Parliament have affirmed their commitment to the principles of democracy.

Mr. Chair, President Obama underscored these points when he spoke by phone Tuesday with President Erdogan to condemn the failed coup attempt, express U.S. support for Turkish democracy, and laud the resolve of the Turkish people against this violent intervention. The broad political support the Turkish government received in the hours after the coup attempt demonstrates that Turks value their democratic traditions.

At the same time, President Obama urged that the investigations and prosecution of the attempted coup’s perpetrators be conducted in ways that reinforce public confidence and democratic institutions and the rule of law. The United States takes note of the statements issued today by ODIHR Director Link and Representative on Freedom of the Media Mijatović underscoring the importance of upholding commitments to human rights and fundamental freedoms in responding to the attempted coup. We also noted the offers of support from both institutions, and Turkey has in the past had fruitful cooperation with both institutions.

The United States and Turkey are close friends and strong allies, and we greatly value this important relationship.  We are bound by shared values, deep historic ties, and a NATO alliance, pledging each of us to the mutual defense of the other. The United States has continually invested in Turkey, and its security and its prosperity, and we remain committed to helping everyone in the country realize a future in which Turkey and the people of Turkey are strong, prosperous, and free.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.