The photo shows an armored vehicle of the Turkish army in Istanbul on July 16, 2016. (AFP)
Wednesday rejected claims that soldiers behind the abortive coup of July
15 made up a considerable portion of the army, saying that the coup
plotters only accounted for 1.5 percent of the country’s armed forces.
military said in a statement that 8,651 soldiers were involved in the
coup attempt; a figure which, it said, amounted to a tiny portion of the
The statement, which was carried by the NTV
television, said the coup plotters were members of a “terrorist” network
led by Fethullah Gulen, a cleric based in the United States who is
known for his education and religious services but designated by the
Turkish government as the key man behind the failed coup.
to the statement, soldiers involved in the coup plot used about 35
airplanes, including 24 fighter jets, and 37 helicopters, in the course
of the coup attempt, which lasted for a day. It said 37 tanks and 246
armored vehicles were also used in the action, which claimed 246 lives,
excluding the coup plotters.
The statement warned that the Turkish
military has the power to put down any further threat against the
status quo in the country.
Reports say over 60,000 people have
been sacked, suspended or detained as part of a massive crackdown by the
government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on those branded as coup
plotters or sympathizers. Thousands of soldiers and officers have been
dismissed from the Turkish army as part of the purge.
On Wednesday, Turkey ordered another 47 journalists detained in connection with the failed coup.
President Erdogan has said that those behind the coup attempt would pay a heavy price.