Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan offered his support to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in a phone call, after a Venezuelan opposition leader declared himself interim president, Reuters reported on Thursday citing spokesperson for the Turkish president.
Socialist Maduro described Juan Guaido's move as a coup attempt. The United States, Canada and right-leaning Latin American governments recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s president.
Turkey joined Russia and several other countries which voiced support to Maduro, with presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin writing on Twitter that Erdogan told Maduro Turkey would support him.
"My brother Maduro! Stand tall, we stand by you!" Kalin quoted Erdogan as telling Maduro. "Under the leadership of President Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey will maintain its principled stance against all coup attempts. #WeAreMADURO," Kalin added.
Turkey has a long history of coups, the most recent one is a failed putsch in 2016, thwarted by Erdogan supporters who took to the streets to fight the putschists. Up to 250 people were killed during the attempted coup.
Economic and political ties between Ankara and Caracas have grown stronger, with Erdogan criticizing sanctions against Venezuela during a visit he paid to the Latin American country last month, without directly mentioning the United States or President Trump.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the United States and other Latin American countries have constantly intervened in Venezuela's internal affairs.
"There is an elected president and on the other hand the head of congress declares himself de facto president. Some countries recognized this. This may cause chaos," Cavusoglu told the A Haber news channel.
Many Turks voiced support for Maduro on social media using the hashtag, #WeAreMaduro. One posted an image of Maduro picking up a small Turkish flag and another one of him holding the flag of a historic Turkish clan.
"You're not alone, big-hearted man. Turkey is with you," another wrote.