Officials at work to protect Latvians in Turkey

Latvia's government and diplomatic services said Saturday they were doing everything possible to protect the safety and interests of Latvians in Turkey following an apparent coup attempt in that country.

"Regarding the events which took place in Turkey last night, the respective services in Latvia have taken active measures and continue their work in order to ensure the security of our people," said Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis.

"Foreign services, the Ministry of Transport, airBaltic and other agencies and companies involved are undertaking activities in order to cooperate with tourism operators in ensuring security of our people who are currently in Turkey," he said.

President Raimonds Vejonis issued a brief statement urging "a return to constitutional order and democratic institutions operating under the rule of law and human rights" and advied Latvian nationals to stay away from public events and monitor advice from the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics advised people to postpone planned trips to Turkey and in a morning media briefing gave out two telephone numbers for Latvian nationals needing to contact the consular department and embassy in Turkey.

 

Turkey is an extremely popular holiday destination for Latvians and national airline airBaltic said that as a result flights could face disruption or cancellation, according to how events unfold.

airBaltic has re-timed its Saturday morning departure to Antalya and plans to operate the flights BT7717/BT7718 from Rīga today at 23:00 local time. The estimated departure from Antalya is 3:25 local time, the airline said.

According to the latest information, Rīga-Antalya leg had 137 passengers booked for the flight, while Antalya-Rīga has 144 passengers booked. The flights are operated in partnership with Tez Tour.

airBaltic said it regrets the inconvenience caused due to the situation in Turkey and safety is our top priority.

Laima Kotta, a Latvian writer resident for many years in Turkey, told LTV live from Turkey in a special broadcast that the situation was changing "from minute to minute" and that events bore the hallmark of an attempted military coup rather than a popular uprising against President Erdogan.

 

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