„The Icelandic government has followed recent events in Turkey very closely and expresses its concerns about the situation, which has become very serious“, says Lilja Alfredsdóttir, Minister for Foreign Affairs. „Developments in Turkey during this last week have been both rapid and unpredictable and Iceland calls for calm and reconciliation,” says the Foreign Minister. “It is important that Turkish authorities fully respect their human rights obligations. It is one thing to hold those responsible who organised the attempt to overthrow the government. Wide-reaching, politically motivated arrests is a whole different matter,” says the Foreign Minister. Ms Alfredsdóttir says that the decision to declare a state of emergency was particularly worrying as well as the extensive countermeasures, including mass arrests and summary firing of tens of thousands of judges, teachers, police, government officials and others.
Yesterday the situation in Turkey following the failed coup attempt was discussed at meeting of the Permanent Council of the OSCE in Vienna. At the meeting, Iceland and the other EEA-EFTA States Norway and Liechtenstein, supported a statement made by the European Union, reiterating its full support to the democratic institutions of Turkey. The Statement stressed the need to respect democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms, the importance of the rule of law prevailing and that Turkey fully abide by its international obligations. The countries also strongly condemn the coup attempt and deplore the high number of casualties, and express their solidarity with the Turkish people. Further, the statement urges the Turkish government to maintain proportionality in its response and to respect the European Convention on Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, which provides for the abolition of death penalty.