It’s been hours since the start of the military coup attempt against the government of NATO member Turkey and so far the most public response from the international alliance is a Tweet from NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg calling for “calm.”
Stoltenberg sent out the following Tweet:
Just spoke to Turkish FM. I call for calm, restraint & full respect for Turkey’s democratic institutions and constitution.
— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) July 15, 2016
A similarly phrased brief statement was posted on NATO’s website.
That statement reads:
I have just spoken to the Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. I am following events in Turkey closely and with concern. I call for calm and restraint, and full respect for Turkey’s democratic institutions and its constitution. Turkey is a valued NATO Ally.
The Associated Press reported it could not get an immediate comment from NATO regarding Turkey’s future status or the coordination of alliance operations after Friday’s dramatic coup attempt.
Article 5 of NATO’s founding treaty dictates that member states consent that “an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.” That statement is widely interpreted to mean an attack by an outside country against a NATO member and not an internal military coup.
Unknown elements in the Turkish military on Friday released a statement claiming they had assumed power, while a presidential source told the media that a “group within the Armed Forces has made an attempt to overthrow the democratically elected government outside the chain of command.”
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an ally of the Obama administration, himself called into CNN Turk and vowed to overcome what he labeled an uprising by a minority.
It remains to be seen exactly who is behind today’s dramatic actions. Erdogan told CNN the coup attempt was carried out by a “parallel structure,” a term he has used in the past to refer to Muhammed Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish preacher who is founder of the opposition Gülen movement. Gülen is himself based in the U.S.
A statement that was read on television claimed a “peace council” took over the country and was imposing a curfew and martial law. “The power in the country has been seized in its entirety,” declared the brazen military statement read on NTV television.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.