Turkey’s Erdoğan condemns ‘coup attempt’ in Venezuela

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President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) shakes hands with President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro (L) after holding a joint press conference following the inter-delegation meeting at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on October 06, 2017. Okan Ozer / Anadolu Agency

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday condemned a “coup attempt” in Venezuela after self-proclaimed opposition leader Juan Guaidó said he had the support of troops to oust President Nicolás Maduro, AFP reported.

“As a country that fought against coups and experienced the negative consequences caused by coups, we condemn the coup attempt in Venezuela,” Erdoğan, a close ally of Maduro, tweeted.

“The entire world must respect the people’s democratic preferences in Venezuela.”

Turkey is a firm supporter of Maduro, who was the first world leader to express backing for Erdoğan after an attempted coup in Turkey in 2016.

Guaidó, Venezuela’s self-proclaimed president who is recognized by more than 50 countries including the United States and Brazil, said troops had joined his campaign to oust Maduro, who is backed by Russia, China and Iran.

The Venezuelan government has vowed to put down what it called an attempted coup.

Erdoğan blasted “those who are in an attempt to appoint a post-modern colonial governor to Venezuela.”

“They should know that the only [way] to determine how a country will be governed is through democratic elections,” the Turkish leader said. “The ballot box is essential in democracies,” he added.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Ankara was against any attempts to change Venezuela’s government through “undemocratic” methods. “We are in favor of solutions to problems facing the country through dialogue. We always stand by the people of Venezuela,” he said.

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