Turkey Coup: 'We support the democratic institutions of Turkey,' says Boris Johnson Reuters

Boris Johnson called for calm in Turkey and said he remained "very concerned" about the situation in the country after an attempted coup left 161 people dead. The newly installed Foreign Secretary said British officials were also working hard to "do the best" for UK citizens in the country.

"We've been monitoring the situation in Turkey very closely overnight and remain very concerned about what's been going on there," he told the BBC.

Johnson, who has Turkish ancestry, added that the British government wanted to "urge calm" and "the avoidance of any further bloodshed".

"It's crucial that we support the democratic institutions of Turkey", he said, adding that he had echoed this message to his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu when he spoke to him shortly after the coup attempt took place, late on 15 July and the early hours of 16 July.

It remains unclear who was behind the coup, although Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has claimed that the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, his onetime ally, had orchestrated the attempt.

The moderate Sunni imam lives in self-imposed exile in the American state of Pennsylvania since 1999. He maintains a considerable amount of influence in his homeland, in which he runs a movement committed to preserving the secular government enshrined in the modern Turkish constitution. This movement is known colloquially as the Gulen movement or Hizmet (meaning "service").

In a statement, the cleric condemned the attempted coup "in the strongest terms".

Labour's shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said they applauded the Turkish people, "including many opposed to the current government who bravely united to stand up for democracy".

She added: "We urge the Turkish government now to recognise the need to unify the country and show greater respect for human rights, free speech and justice. These events cannot be used as justification for yet further repression and division."

Updating its travel advice for Turkey, the Foreign Office warned that some violence appeared to be ongoing in Ankara and Istanbul, while the road between tourist resorts Marmaris and Icmeler was closed amid reports of gunfire.

However, Thomson and First Choice flights to Dalaman, Antalya and Izmir were operating as normal, although the companies said that "customers due to depart on 16 July 2016 and who no longer wish to travel, can cancel and receive a full refund, or amend to another holiday currently on sale subject to availability".

"All flights departing on Monday 18th July 2016 are operating as normal," they added.