Turkey coup attempt on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan: Military will be cleansed – PM

July 16, 2016 8:00 am

• Coup attempt by Turkish military against President
• Reports at least 60 people killed, including 17 police
• 336 arrested across
• Low flying jets and gunfire heard in capital

Turkish
police have arrested hundreds of people after a failed coup against the
Turkish government, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says.
A
general who was part of the plot was killed, Yildirim was quoted as
saying by CNN Turk, which went offline for several hours before resuming
transmissions.

A mission to cleanse the Turkish military of “traitorous elements” has begun, President says.

The attempted Turkish military coup appeared to crumble
Saturday after crowds answered Erdogan’s call to take to the streets to
support him.
Erdogan, who had been holidaying on the coast when
the coup was launched, flew into Istanbul and was shown on TV appearing
among a crowd of supporters outside the airport, which the coup plotters
had failed to secure.
Reports are emerging that at least 60 people were killed during the violence across Turkey.
An official claims 336 have been arrested in the aftermath.

The uprising was an “act of treason”, and those
responsible would pay a heavy price, he later told reporters at a
hastily arranged conference.
Arrests of officers were under way, and it would go higher up the ranks, culminating in the cleansing of the military.

A tank moves into position as Turkish people attempt to stop them, in Ankara. Photo / AP
Addressing thousands of flag-waving supporters outside
Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, Erdogan said he was in charge and the coup
wouldn’t succeed.
“They have pointed the people’s guns against
the people. The president, whom 52 per cent of the people brought to
power, is in charge. This government, brought to power by the people, is
in charge,” Erdogan said.
“They won’t succeed as long as we stand against them by risking everything.”
Images
broadcast on NTV on Saturday showed several dozen soldiers surrendering
on a key bridge in Istanbul, connecting the Asian and European sides,
with their hands in the air as they stepped away from tanks.
Traffic on the Bosphorus bridge was mostly halted in the first stage of the attempted coup.
Fethullah
Gulen, the religious leader blamed by Erdogan for the coup attempt,
condemned the putsch, saying “governments should be won through a
process of free and fair elections, not force”.
Former military
legal adviser Muharrem Kose was also identified as a key figure behind
the insurrection, news agency Anadolu reported.
The coup attempt
has been condemned by the country’s four major parties represented in
the Turkish parliament – including the three parties in opposition –
according to statements on television and on the parties’ Twitter feeds.
The
state-run Anadolu news agency said Yildirim called an emergency session
of parliament for Saturday afternoon and asked all political parties to
take part.

A Turkish soldier, arrested by civilians, is walked to be handed to police officers, in Istanbul’s Taksim square. Photo / AP
Gunfire and explosions had rocked both the main city
Istanbul and capital Ankara in a chaotic night after soldiers took up
positions in both cities and ordered state television to read out a
statement declaring they had taken power.
Thirteen soldiers were
arrested near the presidential palace in Ankara, and another 50 in
Istanbul, in connection with the coup attempt, broadcaster NTV reported.
Explosions and gunfire were reported overnight in Ankara and Istanbul.
At
least 42 people, 17 of them police and others civilians, were killed in
Ankara, NTV reported, citing the chief prosecutor’s office in the
capital’s Golbasi district.
A helicopter used by soldiers backing the coup was shot down by a military jet over the city, broadcaster NTV reported.

People gather in city’s main Kizilay Square to protest against a military coup in Ankara. Photo / AP
Prime Minister Binali Yidirim said Saturday the situation
was under control, and that army head Hulusi Akar remained in control of
the military and was not part of the coup.
Before returning to
Istanbul, Erdogan appeared in a FaceTime video call to the studio of CNN
Turk, where an announcer held up a mobile phone to the camera to show
him.
He had called on Turks to take to the streets to defend his government.
Istanbul’s
Ataturk airport was to return to normal operations at 6am (local time),
Turkish Airlines was quoted as saying by Anadolu.

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