Statement on situation in Turkey
“We are happy to see that the situation in Turkey is gradually stabilising. Turkey is an important partner for the EU. We condemn the violent attempt at a coup to seize power in the country. We fully support the democratically elected government and the legitimate institutions of the country. We call for a swift return to the constitutional order,” Miroslav Lajčák, Slovak Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, told a press conference on Saturday morning.
Since late Friday, Mr Lajčák has been in close contact with Slovakia’s European partners including the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, the Slovak Ambassador in Ankara, the Slovak Consulate-General in Istanbul, the Permanent Representation of the Slovak Republic to the EU in Brussels, and with Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Minister of European Union Affairs Ömer Çelik.
Mr Lajčák has also coordinated and consulted the necessary measures with Slovakia’s Defence and Interior Ministers, as well as with the Prime Minister.
In response to the developments in Turkey, the Slovak Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs has updated its travel advice regarding Turkey, activated the emergency SMS service that notified Slovak citizens now in Turkey of the situation there and sent them recommendations and emergency contacts. According to information made available by mobile-phone operators in Slovakia, a total of 3 912 such emergency text messages were sent out. This corresponds to the number of registered customers of Slovak mobile-phone companies with a roaming service in Turkey. Meanwhile, as per the voluntary registration form maintained by the Slovak Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, a total of 1 608 Slovak citizens are in Turkey as of 16 July.
Given the current situation in Turkey, the ministry advises against travelling to Ankara and Istanbul. As for the Slovak citizens who are already in Turkey, we recommend that they remain calm, stay in their accommodation facilities and adhere to instructions from local authorities.
We also recommend that they stay away from public gatherings, particularly in Ankara, Istanbul and other major cities and towns, as well as that they limit their travels across the country.
Furthermore, we recommend that they strictly adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and security forces.
We have received no reports of Slovak citizens having sustained injuries or gone missing in the attempted coup. As things stand now, panic is unwarranted, the situation in holiday resorts has been calm, Slovak citizens there have faced no danger, and the flights to the resorts of Izmir and Antalya continue to be operated. At present, there is no need to consider evacuations, but the crisis staff of the Slovak Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs remains on alert.