Boris urges calm after Turkey coup as tourists told to stay indoors

Foreign Secretary Boris JohnsonForeign Secretary Boris Johnson
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson has called for calm and the avoidance of further bloodshed as the death toll following the Turkish coup rose to 161.

The newly-appointed Foreign Secretary said it was crucial they support democratic insitutions and that foreign nationals should follow Foreign Office advice which continues to “strongly” urge holidaymakers and others to stay indoors.

He urged calm and the avoidance of further bloodshed as the Turkish prime minister, Binali Yildirim, said the death toll had risen to 161, with 1,440 people injured, while 2,839 military personnel have been detained.

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British Airways said it had cancelled all flights to and from the country. Easyjet said they were “monitoring the situation closely,” adding on their website: “Current advice from the British authorities is to continue our flying programme. This will be kept under continuous review.”

As Turkey’s government claimed the coup attempt had failed, the Foreign Office updated its travel advice to reflect the latest developments in a rapidly changing situation.

It warned that some violence appeared to be ongoing in Ankara and Istanbul, while the road between tourist resorts Marmaris and Icmeler was closed amid reports of gunfire.

It said: “There has been large-scale military action in Turkey, with the military deployed to the streets and widespread reports of gunfire and explosions in Ankara and Istanbul.

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“The situation now appears quieter in Istanbul, and the bridges across the Bosphorus are reopening. But there are reports of tank fire and small arms fire in Ankara.

“Some flights to airports in Turkey are being diverted or cancelled.

“The road between Marmaris and Icmeler remains closed, following earlier reports of gunfire between the resorts of Marmaris and Icmeler. We strongly advise you to stay indoors, avoid public places, in particular demonstrations, and remain vigilant.”

Mr Johnson said officials were working hard to “do the best” for the many Britons in Turkey.

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It came as the Turkish Government claimed that “95 per cent” of the country was back under its control.

Mr Johnson, who has Turkish ancestry, told reporters: “We’ve been monitoring the situation in Turkey very closely overnight and remain very concerned about what’s been going on there.

“The first thing to say is obviously we want to urge calm, the avoidance of any further bloodshed, and it’s crucial that we support the democratic institutions of Turkey and that’s a message that was very much echoed of course by the Turkish foreign minister, my counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, to whom I spoke a couple of hours ago, and he was very grateful for UK support at the UN and elsewhere.

“And obviously I’ve also spoken to our diplomatic staff in Ankara and in Istanbul.

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“They’re doing a fantastic job, they are working very hard as you can imagine to do the best for the many Brits who are there, the many people who are there on holiday and they should follow the travel advice and we’ll do our best to update you as soon as we can.”