By Hassan Isilow, Omer Kilic, Magdalene Mukami, Francis Maingaila, and Rafiu Ajakaye
JOHANNESBURG (AA) – Leaders from across the breadth of sub-Saharan Africa – from the west, east, center, and south – spoke in a chorus Saturday, denouncing Friday’s attempted coup in Turkey, and expressing solidarity and support for the Turkish government and people.
The government of the regional superpower South Africa condemned the coup, saying it stands against any attempts by anyone to seize power unconstitutionally.
“South Africa supports democracy and the rule of law and we are of the firm view that the will of the people must be respected‚” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
In a personal message to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan released from the State House, Kenyan leader Uhuru Kenyatta said, “It is with sadness that I have learnt of the attempted coup by the military in your great country, we in Kenya join the world in condemning the effort unreservedly.”
He added that no country can allow power-hungry individuals bent on undermining and subverting the will of the people to thwart democracy.
Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohammed released a statement saying, “Kenya joins the international community and all democracies standing in solidarity with the elected Government of the Republic of Turkey. The will of the people, expressed through the ballot, can neither be subverted nor thwarted by the evil machinations of power hungry individuals.”
Erdogan had paid a state visit to Kenya in early June.
Nigeria’s Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama asserted his country’s support for democratically elected President Erdogan, saying he is “in charge” in a solidarity tweet copied to his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.
“We urge Nigerians in Turkey to stay safe, calm, and law abiding as we monitor events. Goodwill to Turkish people,” he also said on Twitter.
Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud also condemned the attempted coup in Turkey.
“It is unacceptable to reverse the democratic path that the people of Turkey enjoyed in the recent times,” Mohamud said in a statement. “Somalia is fully supporting the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.”
He said his government was very glad to hear that the “evil forces” in Turkey have been defeated.
Turkey is a major donor to Somalia and has helped build several projects in the country following decades of conflict.
In Lusaka, Foreign Minister Harry Kalaba told journalists that the Zambian government always stands against any anti-democratic movement that disturbs the peace of a democratically elected government and endangers the lives of innocent citizens.
“We would like to join the rest of the world in condemning the foiled coup in Turkey that left people dead and several others injured. Any form of violence as a means to get to power has no room in democratic society.
“As a democratic country, Zambia will always advocate for democratic means of getting to power and not the use of guns, including other unorthodox means of resolving problems,” Kalaba added.
Kalaba commended the Turkish men and women in uniform who fought valiantly for the return of peace and calm, and urged measures to prevent future coups.
– Turks in S.Africa blast coup
A crowd of about 100 Turkish nationals living in South Africa gathered at their embassy in Pretoria Saturday to condemn Friday’s failed military coup in their home country.
“Some of our citizens came to the embassy to show solidarity with Turkish people back home in condemning the failed coup and loss of lives,” Turkish Ambassador to Pretoria Kaan Esener told Anadolu Agency via telephone.
He said the demonstrators were angry that the coup leaders had attempted to illegally take over power through unconstitutional means.
Abubekir Salim, leader of the Turkish South Africa business community, thanked his fellow countrymen for coming out on short notice to protest the failed coup.
“Turkey is an exemplary democracy in the Middle East, just as South Africa is exemplary in Africa,” he said, adding that whoever supported the coup in South Africa or Turkey has no place in their community.
Salim also thanked the Turkish people back home for coming out in large numbers to show their support for the democratically elected government.
– Saluting Turkey and Erdogan
South African Muslim NGO Awqaf SA also condemned the coup and hailed Turkish people for opposing the overthrow of a democratically elected government.
‘‘We salute you the people of Turkey and President Erdogan. You have demonstrated that truth and justice will overcome falsehood and oppression,’’ the group said in a statement.
Awqaf SA said Turkey is the hope of Islam and a beacon of justice and peace for the oppressed all over the world.