Turkey PM says 161 dead in coup bid, almost 3,000 detained

Turkish army faction backed by tanks and fighter jets staged an attempted coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan


Agencies/news Desk July 15, 2016
A Turkish military stands guard near the Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, July 15, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

ANKARA/ ISTANBUL: Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Saturday 161 people were killed in the coup attempt against the government, with 2,839 soldiers now detained on suspicion of involvement.

Yildirim, speaking outside his Cankaya palace in Ankara and flanked by top general Hulusi Akar who was held during the coup attempt, also described the putsch bid as a "black stain" on Turkish democracy. He added that 1,440 people had been wounded.



A Turkish army faction backed by tanks and fighter jets staged an attempted coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday but the strongman returned to Istanbul defiantly claiming to have regained control.



The toll 161 did not include the assailants, he emphasised. Turkey's acting army chief Umit Dundar had earlier said 104 putschists had been killed.

Yildirim blamed the coup attempt on the supporters of US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara has for years accused of working to overthrow the authorities and wants to see brought to justice.

The United States has shown little interest so far to Turkey's requests for his extradition.

"Fethullah Gulen is the leader of a terrorist organisation," the premier said.

"Whichever country is behind him is not a friend of Turkey and in a serious war against Turkey," he added.

World powers urge 'stability' in Turkey

Erdogan predicted that the move would fail and crowds of supporters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came out onto the streets to try to block the putsch.

Crowds of people, some waving Turkish flags, gathered in major squares in Istanbul and Ankara to show support for the elected government.

PHOTO: AFP

After hours of chaos unseen in decades, the president ended uncertainty over his whereabouts, flying into Istanbul airport in the early hours of the morning where he made a defiant speech and was greeted by hundreds of supporters.

Erdogan denounced the coup attempt as "treachery" but said he was carrying out his functions and would keep on working "to the end".

"What is being perpetrated is a treason and a rebellion. They will pay a heavy price for this act of treason," Erdogan said at Istanbul's airport. "We will not leave our country to occupiers."

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses during an attempted coup in Istanbul, Turkey July16, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

Turkish military chief rescued after being held during coup bid

The head of Turkey's armed forces was rescued after being held hostage during the attempted coup.

Hulusi Akar had been held by rebel soldiers during the attempted coup, Turkish broadcasters said.

Turkish army chief Hulusi Akar. PHOTO: AFP



Turkey blames IS for Istanbul airport carnage that killed 41

Social media access restricted 

Access was restricted in Turkey on Friday to Facebook Inc, Twitter Inc  and Alphabet Inc's YouTube shortly after news that a military coup was under way, according to two internet monitoring groups.

Turkey Blocks, a group that monitors internet shutdowns in the country, and Dyn, which monitors internet performance and traffic globally, both reported it was difficult or impossible to access social media services in Turkey.

Fethullah Gulen, the arch-enemy of Turkey's president

PHOTO: AFP

After serving as prime minister from 2003, Erdogan was elected president in 2014 with plans to alter the constitution to give the previously ceremonial presidency far greater executive powers.

Attempted coup in Turkey: what we know so far

Turkey has enjoyed an economic boom during his time in office and has dramatically expanded its influence across the region. But opponents say his rule has become increasingly authoritarian.

Pakistan expresses solidarity with Turkish people

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi telephoned Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu and expressed solidarity.

The Turkish foreign minister thanked the government and the people of Pakistan for showing resolve to stand by democracy in Turkey.

COMMENTS (65)

FAZ | 4 years ago | Reply @ajeet: You seem to me a 10 year old blooger across my border!. If you are comparing Nawaz with Erdogan. Under Erdogan's 13 year rule Turkish economy has grown so much that he has earned people's confidence. It is very similar to Indian choosing Modi forgetting that he is an alleged mass murderer. He who delivers will come to power. Be it Trump, Modi or Hitler. Dark side of democracy aye?
Erik | 4 years ago | Reply The whole thing was staged by Erdogan, so he could suppress the opposition and consolidate his dictatorial powers.
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