ANKARA: A Turkish army faction backed by tanks and fighter jets was waging a coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday.
Here is what we know so far:
Offiicials were insisting the attempted coup was falling apart.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan returned to Istanbul airport during the early hours of Saturday, saying the hotel he was staying at on Turkey’s Aegean coast was bombed after he left.
Erdogan appointed General Umit Dundar, commander of the First Army, as acting chief of staff after General Hulusi Akar was captured and taken hostage.
Akar was later rescued, the private TV station CNN-Turk reported.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, who has spoken on media via telephone throughout the night, is believed to be in Ankara.
Government-backed jets have downed pro-coup aircraft and bombed tanks surrounding the presidential palace in the capital Ankara.
Dozens of soldiers backing the coup surrendered on the Bosphorus bridge in Istanbul that they had held throughout the night, holding their hands above their heads as they were detained
A group calling itself the “Council for Peace in the Homeland” declared martial law and a curfew in a statement, saying it had launched the coup “to ensure and restore constitutional order, democracy, human rights and freedoms and let the supremacy of the law in the country prevail…”
No named military officer claimed responsibility for the actions.
Erdogan said during the night he did not know whereabouts of the army chief of staff, General Hulusi Akar, and appointed the commander of the First Army, General Umit Dundar in his place temporarily.
Erdogan put the blame the coup on supporters of his arch-foe, US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose Hizmet movement and its powerful presence in Turkish society, including the media, police and judiciary.
Gulen denied being behind the coup attempt and condemned it “in the strongest terms”.
Officials said early Saturday 60 people have been killed and 754 soldiers detained, with the majority of those killed civilians.
Erdogan had called his supporters out onto the streets, and in several locations they outnumbered putsch soldiers.
Troops also moving to block the bridges across the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul, and an AFP photographer saw soldiers open fire on people gathered near one them, leaving dozens wounded.
Soldiers also opened shot at protesters angrily denouncing the coup bid at Istanbul’s famous Taksim Square, injuring several.
Explosions rocked areas near official buildings as government aircraft sought to eject pro-coup tanks.