Foiled Coup Leaves 161 Civilians Dead in Turkey; Erdogan Returns

3,000 Turkish Soldiers Arrested and 2,700 Judges Fired, 8 Turks in Greece

تم نشره في Sat 16 July / Jul 2016. 12:00 AM
  • Turkey - (Archives)

ANKARA/ISTANBUL — An attempted military coup in Turkey Friday night, said to be fomented by Fethullah Gulen, a powerful but reclusive US-based Muslim cleric, to overthrow Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was foiled by civilian masses, local police, and loyal military forces after a long night of unrest, resulting in the death of 161 civilians during the overnight clashes, and the injury of over 1,400 others.

A Scene of teh Anti-Coup Protests - (Archives)

Friday evening, a faction of the military announced they had taken control, enforcing curfew and martial law over the major cities in Turkey. Tanks took up positions on two of the bridges over the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul, blocking traffic, and troops were seen on the streets, as well as military jets filmed flying low over Ankara.

One helicopters being flown by rebels was reportedly shot down by government troops in Ankara, according to various agencies.

Shortly after, a faction of the army released a statement saying that a "peace council" was in control, and that it had launched the coup "to ensure and restore constitutional order, democracy, human rights and freedoms", according to the BBC.

Erdogan, then in the south-west holiday resort of Marmaris at the time, made a televised address, urging people to take to the streets to oppose the uprising.

In the aftermath of the attempted coup, Erdogan showed up in Istanbul, surrounded by supporters.

When the uprising unfolded, some 3,000 soldiers had been arrested, and 2,700 judges have been fired.

Turkish Military Declary Taking over the Country - (AFP)

Briefly afterwards, 8 Turks; said to be plotters of the coup, have been reported landing in a helicopter in Greece. Turkey's foreign minister, says the BBC, seems convinced Greece will deport the eight Turks who fled there in a helicopter to seek asylum.

On their part, there is still no word from Greek officials, but a journalist with Der Spiegel based in Greece has been posting updates on their case, that they have been detained for further processing.

President’s bureau puts total death toll at 265, including 161 civilians and 104 coup "plotters", and Prime Minister Yildirim said the situation was now "completely under control" and the government's commanders were now back in charge.

In Washington, President Barack Obama urged all parties in Turkey to support the "democratically elected government".

European Council President Donald Tusk said the country was "a key partner for the European Union".

"We call for a swift return to Turkey's constitutional order," he added

Various Turkish media outlets, including the Anadolu Agency, are now reporting that a high-ranking member of the Constitutional Court has now been arrested.

Alparslan Altan is the vice-president of the court, the most authoritative in the country.

Saturday, after the coup was foiled, the extraordinary session of parliament opened with a minute's silence, followed by the national anthem, and leaders of each party made speeches, along with a joint declaration condemning the attempted coup.