Israel tells citizens to stay put as coup unfolds in Turkey

Israel’s Foreign Ministry urged its citizens in Turkey to remain indoors, and advised against travel to Turkey following an attempted coup on Friday.

The advisory joined similar calls by France and the US after elements within the Turkish military apparently staged an attempted coup.

Soldiers took to the streets of Ankara and Istanbul as the prime minister vowed the putschists would “pay the highest price” and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on government supporters to take to the streets.

US President Barack Obama has been briefed by aides on events in Turkey, the White House said Friday, as a shock military coup attempt was underway. Moscow, meanwhile, urged Turkey to avoid “bloodshed.”

“The president’s national security team has apprised him of the unfolding situation in Turkey,” said National Security Council spokesman Ned Price.

“The president will continue to receive regular updates.”

Obama has repeatedly expressed concern about authoritarian steps taken by the Erdogan government.

But Turkey is a key NATO ally and part of the coalition fighting the Islamic State group.

The US has military assets at Incirlik Air Base, carrying out strikes in Syria and Iraq.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said he was still catching up with fast-moving events in Turkey, where troops are on the street amid reports of a coup attempt.

But he said that events play out, he hoped that Turkey would be able to resolve the crisis while preserving peace, stability and a respect for “continuity.”

The US State Department advised American citizens in Turkey through Twitter to “monitor local press for updates, avoid areas of conflict, & exercise caution if in vicinity of any military or security forces.”

“If attempting to leave Turkey, confirm status of airport/airline/ground transportation before leaving your home,” it said.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who just took office this week in a cabinet shakeup, tweeted that he was “very concerned by events unfolding in #Turkey.”

“Our Embassy is monitoring the situation closely. Brits should follow FCO website for advice,” he said.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini urged “restraint” in Turkey after the attempted coup.

“In constant contact with EU Delegation in Ankara & Brussels from Mongolia. Call for restraint and respect for democratic institutions #Turkey,” she tweeted from a regional summit in Ulan Bator.

Brussels will be watching with deep concern the events in Turkey, a key partner on its southeastern flank which has been trying to join the EU for many years without success.

The EU’s controversial deal with Turkey in March to tackle the migrant crisis could be at risk, with implications for French and German elections next year.

Under the deal, Ankara agreed to take back migrants and refugees from the Greek islands and to stop people crossing the Aegean Sea. In return it is to get aid and visa-free travel for 80 million Turks to the EU.

The bloc overcame its aversion to Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian rule, which has received sharp criticism from the 28-nation European Union.

Turkey will now likely dominate an EU foreign ministers’ meeting on Monday which will also be attended by Kerry.

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