Turkey 'deeply concerned' about suspension of Tunisian parliament

Turkey on July 26 said that it was "deeply concerned" after Tunisia's President Kais Saied dismissed the government and froze parliament in a dramatic escalation of a political crisis which his opponents labeled a coup.

Supporters of Tunisia's President Kais Saied gather on the streets as they celebrate after he dismissed the government and froze parliament on July 25.

Anadolu Agency 

Turkey on July 26 said it is "deeply concerned" about the Tunisian president's sacking of the country's prime minister and suspension of the parliament that represents the "will of the people.”

"We have no doubt that the Tunisian people who have successfully passed many stages on the path to democracy, will overcome this challenge as well," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The statement underlined that the preservation of Tunisia’s "exceptional position" and democratic achievements, which "constitutes an exemplary success story in the region in terms of the democratic process carried out in accordance with the expectations of the people,” is of great importance for the region as well as Tunisia.

"In this regard, we hope that democratic legitimacy will be swiftly reinstated within the framework of the provisions of the Tunisian constitution," it added.

Turkey will continue to stand by Tunisia and the "brotherly" Tunisian people, with whom it has strong historical ties, the ministry said.

On July 25, Tunisian President Kais Saied dismissed the government of Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, froze the parliament, and assumed the executive authority with the assistance of a new prime minister.

Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi described Saied's actions as nothing but a "full-fledged coup" against the Tunisian constitution, revolution, and freedoms in the country.

Soldiers deployed at parliament prevented Ghannouchi and accompanying lawmakers from entering the building.

Tunisia has been gripped by a deep crisis since Jan. 16, when Mechichi announced a Cabinet reshuffle, but Saied refused to hold a ceremony to swear in the new ministers.

The country has also been facing an unprecedented spread of the COVID-19 strains in most states, causing a rapid spread of the virus.

Tunisia is seen as the only Arab country to successfully complete a democratic transition as other countries, such as Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, have all undergone popular uprisings that overturned ruling regimes.