At Least 6,000 Detained In Connection To Failed Coup, Says Turkey

At least 265 people were killed and a further 1,500 injured when a faction of the Turkish military attempted to overthrow the government by seizing bridges and attacking parliamentary buildings in the capital of Ankara.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was briefly forced into hiding, delivering a press conference via a mobile phone video in which he called on the nation to rise up against the plotters.

Thousands of people took to the streets in support of the president, and by Saturday morning the rebels had begun to surrender.

The response from the Government has been swift and brutal – so far at least 3,000 soliders have been arrested and an estimated 2,700 judges have been sacked on suspicion of supporting the coup attempt.

Erdogan’s security forces clashed with coup plotters resisting arrest at Istanbul’s second airport, and at an air base in central Turkey, an official said.

Security forces fired warning shots near the Sabiha Gokcen airport on the Asian side of the city and the coup plotters did not return fire.

There were also clashes at an air base in Konya in central Turkey.

The official said: “The situation is under control” and added a number of people were arrested.

Justice minister Bekir Bozdag told Turkish state media that so far 6,000 people are being held over the attempted uprising and that “clean-up operations are continuing”.

He added the number of people arrested will continue to rise.

Among those arrested is General Bekir Ercan Van, commander of the Incirlik air base from which U.S. aircraft launch airstrikes on Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, an official said.

Erdogan’s chief military assistant was also detained.

Overnight, supporters of President Tayyip Erdogan rallied in public squares, at Istanbul airport and outside his palace in a show of defiance after the coup attempt.

The Foreign Ministry raised the death toll to more than 290, including over 100 rebels, while 1,400 people were injured.

Mr Erdogan has suggested the death penalty could be introduced as punishment for those found guilty of plotting the coup.

He has blamed his former ally, US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, for the coup and has called for his extradition back to Turkey.

Mr Gulen has denied the accusations, and suggested the president himself staged the coup in a bid to justify a crack down on civil liberties and opposition activists.

Erdogan said Turkey’s justice and foreign ministries would write to Western governments to demand the return of Gulen’s supporters from those countries.

Kerry said he had no evidence that Gulen was behind the plot to seize power, and he urged Turkish authorities to compile evidence as rapidly as possible so the United States could evaluate whether he should be extradited to Turkey.

Even before the coup attempt was over, Erdogan promised a purge of the armed forces.

He said: ”They will pay a heavy price for this.

“This uprising is a gift from God to us because this will be a reason to cleanse our army.”

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply