Source: News Bharati English16 Jul 2016 11:49:17
Istanbul/Ankara, July 16: Over 160 people were killed and more than hundreds injured in the gunfire, explosions and air attacks following an unsuccessful military coup in Turkey against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
President Erdogan blamed the army elements for ‘treason’ but according to the reports, there is no clarity on who is controlling the country as violent clashes in Ankara and Istanbul reported over 160 dead. More than 2800 were arrested after uprising against President Erdogan.
President Erdogan has told the nation that his government is in charge after a coup attempt brought a night of explosions, air battles and gunfire across the capital.
Government officials said the coup appeared to have failed as Turks took to the streets overnight to confront troops attempting to take over the country. However, the sounds of huge blasts, including at least one bomb that hit the parliament complex, continued to echo across the capital, Ankara, and Istanbul throughout the morning.
Addressing a crowd of supporters outside Istanbul Ataturk Airport on Saturday morning, Erdogan told a crowd assembled there: “They have pointed the people’s guns against the people. The President, whom 52 percent of the people brought to power, is in charge. This government brought to power by the people, is in charge. They won’t succeed as long as we stand against them by risking everything.”
Earlier, Erdogan said the government was arresting coup supporters in the military and warned, “they will pay a heavy price for their treason to Turkey”.
In images broadcast on CNN-Turk, dozens of soldiers walked among tanks with their hand held up, surrendering to government forces on Istanbul's Bosporus Bridge. Discarded gear was strewn on the ground. People, some holding flags, climbed onto the tanks. Fifty soldiers were taken into custody, according to the state-run Anadolu Agency.
Fethullah Gulen denies involvement in the attempted coup
Fethullah Gulen, the Islamic cleric has denied involvement in the coup. His group Alliance for Shared Values said: “Events on the ground are moving quickly and it would be irresponsible for us to speculate on them. We remain concerned about the safety and security of Turkish citizens and those in Turkey right now.”
Death toll up to 60
The latest reports have raised the death toll to at least 60, who are understood to be mainly civilians. There have been 42 confirmed fatalities in Ankara and a number of other people are understood to have died in Istanbul. The Turkish justice ministry said that 336 rebels have been detained.
Erdogan's return, reported by state-run media reports, indicates that the government appeared to have repelled the attempted coup, while fighting, intrigue, and accusations continued in Istanbul and the capital, Ankara.
Turkey's state-run news agency said more than 750 soldiers have been detained across the country. It also says the military’s chief of staff, Gen. Hulusi Akar, was rescued in an operation at an air base outside the capital of Ankara.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim called all legislators for an emergency meeting Saturday, according to state-run Andolu Agency.
Coup attempt spurs chaos in Turkey
The coup apparently escalated quickly from the seizing of television stations to an armed confrontation between loyalists and crowds of government supporters on one side, and a military group calling itself the Peace at Home Council on the other.
Trouble became apparent when travelers reported on their Twitter accounts flights had been cancelled at the Istanbul airport while Turkish military jets were flying low over the city. Military vehicles blocked two bridges spanning the Bosporus Strait that separate the European and Anatolian sides of Istanbul. Turkish news agency Dogan reported soldiers fired on people trying to cross the Bosporus bridge wounding several.
Reports poured in of military units seizing newsrooms at state-controlled television stations. Then a military helicopter fired on a headquarters building of Turkey's Special Forces police in Ankara, killing 17 police officers, according to the Andolu Agency. A Turkish military F-16 shot a Sikorsky helicopter out of the sky, the agency said.
CNN Türk reported that the coup attempt got underway in Ankara when two busloads of soldiers entered the headquarters of the state-run TRT news agency, and the channel then started to broadcast a stream of weather forecasts, Hurriet reported.
CNN Türk tweeted that soldiers had landed in Dogan Media Center where the broadcaster is based and entered the studio. After they entered the control room, the CNN Türk anchor said on the air, “That’s it, we now have to go.”
An anchorwoman at TRT1 TV read a script approved by the military who seized her newsroom, referring to Erdogan as a traitor.
The group’s statement said it took action “to reinstall the constitutional order, democracy, human rights and freedoms, to ensure that the rule of law once again reigns in the country, for the law and order to be reinstated,” the private Dogan agency reported.
In Washington, President Obama urged all parties in Turkey to support the government of President Erdogan.
There have been three successful coups in Turkey, a NATO ally, since 1960, and in 1997. Then, the military carried out a “soft” coup, issuing directives to the Turkish government that it was forced to accept. The military has cast itself as the traditional protector of secular, democratic rule.