Turkey’s Erdogan condemns ‘coup attempt’ in Venezuela

Istanbul: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday condemned a “coup attempt” in Venezuela after self-proclaimed opposition leader Juan Guaido said he had the support of troops to oust President Nicolas Maduro.

“As a country which fought against coups and experienced the negative consequences caused by coups, we condemn the coup attempt in Venezuela,” Erdogan, a close ally of Maduro, wrote on Twitter.

“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 Erdogan after an attempted coup d’etat in Turkey in 2016.

Guaido, Venezuela’s self-proclaimed president who is recognised 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.

Erdogan 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 shall be governed is through democratic elections,” the Turkish leader said.

“Ballot boxes are essential in democracies,” he added.

Earlier, his Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara was against any attempts to change Venezuela’s government through “undemocratic” methods.

“We are in favour of solution to problems facing the country through dialogue. We always stand by the people of Venezuela,” he said.