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Canada urges calm in Turkey, advises Canadians there to stay indoors

Tanks move into position as Turkish people attempt to stop them, in Ankara, Turkey, late Friday, July 15, 2016. Turkey's armed forces said it "fully seized control" of the country Friday and its president responded by calling on Turks to take to the streets in a show of support for the government. A loud explosion was heard in the capital, Ankara, fighter jets buzzed overhead, gunfire erupted outside military headquarters and vehicles blocked two major bridges in Istanbul.
Image Credit: (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
July 16, 2016 - 4:30 PM

OTTAWA - The Canadian government urged calm in Turkey amid a failed coup attempt Friday and advised Canadians not to travel to the country.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement late Friday expressing concern about the uprising by members of Turkey's military.

"We call for restraint by all parties," Trudeau's statement said. "Canada supports the preservation of Turkish democracy, and condemns any attempt to subvert Turkey's democratic institutions by force of arms.

“The Government of Canada is being kept informed of developments in Turkey, and we are doing everything possible to ensure that the safety and security of Canadians in that country is maintained.”

A statement from Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion echoed those sentiments and cautioned Canadian citizens to avoid travelling to Turkey.

He also said Canadians already in Turkey "should remain indoors, avoid large gatherings and follow the instructions of local authorities."

The federal government is offering consular assistance to Canadians in Turkey if it's needed.

Organizers of the Edmonton Turkish Festival announced on their website Saturday that they had decided to postpone the event this weekend, "due to political unrest in Turkey."

The website said the festival, which was to feature Turkish music, folk dances and cuisine, would be rescheduled for a later date.

Forces loyal to Turkey's president quashed the coup attempt in a night of explosions, air battles and gunfire that left some 250 people dead and over 1,400 wounded.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed that those responsible would be held accountable and authorities arrested or dismissed thousands of troops and judges.

It appears the most senior members of Turkey's military did not support the uprising and the main opposition parties condemned the attempted overthrow. Gen. Umit Dundar said the plotters were mainly officers from the Air Force, the military police and the armoured units.

-- With files from The Associated Press

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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