Armenia expressed hope on Saturday that the political situation in neighboring Turkey will return to normal after a failed military coup attempt overnight that left scores of Turks dead.
“We are continuing to closely monitor developments taking place in Turkey,” said the Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Tigran Balayan.
“Stability and law and order in the neighboring country based on respect for democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms are important for the entire region,” he wrote on Twitter.
Balayan tweeted earlier in the day that Armenian citizens in Turkey that are in need of urgent help should contact the Foreign Ministry in Yerevan by phone or e-mail. “No country represents our interests in Turkey,” he explained.
“According to preliminary information, no citizens of Armenia or [ethnic] Armenians have suffered from the events in Turkey,” the Armenian Foreign Ministry said in a separate statement.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is seen amid his supporters at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey July 16, 2016.
Armenia and Turkey have had no diplomatic relations ever since the break-up of the Soviet Union. Successive Turkish governments have made their establishment contingent on a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict acceptable to Baku.
Despite the absence of diplomatic ties and an open land border between the two nations, there are regular flights between Istanbul and Yerevan carried out a private Turkish airline. According to the Armenpress news agency, the most recent of those flights scheduled for Saturday morning was cancelled because of the closure of Istanbul’s Ataturk international airport.
Although the Turkish government said the situation in the country is “under control,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan posted a message on Twitter urging supporters to remain in the streets to prevent “a new flare-up” of coup activity.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Haberturk television on Saturday that 161 people were killed and 1,440 others injured during the unrest the previous night. He did not appear to be including the 104 soldiers supporting the coup who were reported killed overnight, meaning the death total for the unrest would be 265.
Yildirim said 2,839 military personnel supporting the coup attempt were arrested.