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"No place for coups in democracy", Maldives backs Turkey's Erdogan

Mohamed Visham
18 July 2016, MVT 09:16
President Yameen speaks after inaugurating a new sewage system in Haa Alif Atoll Hoarafushi last month. PHOTO/PRESIDENT'S OFFICE
Mohamed Visham
18 July 2016, MVT 09:16

Maldives on Sunday condemned the failed coup attempt in Turkey with president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom insisting that unconstitutional attempts to overthrow an elected government have no place in democratic societies.

President Yameen joined world leaders including US President Barack Obama to have strongly condemned Friday's attempted takeover by an army faction, which according to the Turkish government left nearly 300 people dead.

In a message congratulating his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan for foiling the coup attempt, president Yameen said his government was profoundly concerned and disturbed by the news of the coup attempt, and quickly expressed the full solidarity of the Maldives.

"Unconstitutional attempts to overthrow the democratically elected governments have no place in democratic societies," the statement read.

"The Maldives condemns all forms of military coups and all attempts to alter the democratic order.”

Yameen also noted Erdogan's visit to the Maldives in 2005 and hailed the Turkish leader for inspiring his people and the world for his examples of justice, democracy, moderation and development.

Turkish authorities meanwhile pressed on Sunday with a ruthless crackdown against suspects in the failed coup, with 6,000 people detained.

Erdogan said Turkey could consider reinstating the death penalty following the putsch bid, despite concerns in the international community.

But there is growing alarm over the retaliatory purges by Turkish authorities, especially after pictures emerged showing the rough treatment of some suspects.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said around 6,000 people had been detained in "clean-up operations" and warned that the number would rise.

They include senior army commanders, top judges, prosecutors and a military aide to Erdogan.

A resurgent Erdogan raised the prospect of bringing back capital punishment, which was abolished in 2004 as the country sought to improve its chances of joining the EU.

"In democracies, decisions are made based on what the people say. I think our government will speak with the opposition and come to a decision," he said, reacting to crowds in Istanbul calling for the death penalty.

"We cannot delay this anymore because in this country, those who launch a coup will have to pay the price for it," he told supporters.

Earlier he told a crowd of thousands at a funeral for the victims in Istanbul there would be no let-up in the fight against his sworn enemy Fethullah Gulen, the US-based Islamic preacher he accuses of masterminding the coup plot.

"We will continue to clean the virus from all state bodies because this virus has spread. Unfortunately like a cancer, this virus has enveloped the state," he said.

More than 290 people were killed during the coup bid, including over 100 putschists, the foreign ministry said late Sunday, raising the toll from an earlier figure of 265 dead.