Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani gave an assurance that the country’s common border with Turkey remains secure after an abortive military coup caused turmoil in the neighbouring country.
Speaking after a special meeting of the Supreme National Security Council in Tehran, held to discuss the latest developments in Turkey in the wake of the failed coup, Shamkhani said Iran is in close contact with Turkish officials to get a better understanding of events in Turkey, since light needs to be shed on all aspects of the coup.
He further underlined that Iran’s northwestern borders near Turkey are secured, noting that the Iranian ground and air forces are well prepared for protecting the country.
As regards the issues discussed in the meeting, Shamkhani said the SNSC members were unanimous in stressing the need for Iran to maintain contact with Turkish political officials and support the Turkish government and nation in the face of the coup.
Earlier on Saturday, the Turkish government came under siege by a faction of military forces who sought to end the rule of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan citing the leader’s drift away from the country’s long-held secularist values.
The military attempted to use helicopters and tanks to overthrow the Turkish leadership.
According to the state-run Anadolu agency, at least 90 people were killed amid the military coup attempt in Turkey. The victims include civilians and military servicemen.
The coup attempt was led by Col. Muharrem Kose, a former Turkish military officer who was dishonorably discharged in March 2016 for his alleged association with anti-government and US-based dissident Fethullah Gulen.
Gulen’s movement known as Hizmet, once claimed as many as 2,000 officers within the Turkish military prior to crackdowns by Turkish President Erdogan.
Supporters of Gulen have long attempted to use the judiciary to advance corruption investigations against Erdogan sparking a bitter divide between the two groups. Turkish authorities accuse Gulen of attempting to form an opposing “state within a state” known by many in Turkey as the “Parallel Structure.”