President Barack Obama reiterated the U.S.’s “unwavering support” for Turkey’s “democratically-elected, civilian government” during a Situation Room meeting with his national security and foreign policy teams, the White House said Saturday.
During their morning meeting on Turkey, Obama instructed U.S. officials to continue their work with their Turkish counterparts “to maintain the safety and well-being of diplomatic missions and personnel, U.S. servicemembers, and their dependents,” the White House said in a statement.
“The president also underscored the shared challenges that will require continued Turkish cooperation, including our joint efforts against terrorism,” it added.
Renegade elements within Turkey’s military attempted to stage a coup against the government late Friday.
Although the coup was soon put down by the country’s legitimate authorities and security apparatus, around 160 people were martyred in the violence, according to Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.
Obama “and his team lamented the loss of life and registered the vital need for all parties in Turkey to act within the rule of law and to avoid actions that would lead to further violence or instability,” the White House said.
During an evening telephone call with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Secretary of State John Kerry “made clear that the United States would be willing to provide assistance to Turkish authorities” responsible for an investigation into culprits for the coup attempt.
Kerry added “that public insinuations or claims about any role by the United States in the failed coup attempt are utterly false and harmful to our bilateral relations,” according to State Department spokesman John Kirby.
Yildirim has declared July 15 a “day of democracy”.